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Doctors warning Lack of awareness of grape choking hazard puts children at risk – https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/dec/20/lack-of-awareness-of-grape-choking-hazard-putting-children-at-risk-say-doctors?utm_source=Child+Accident+Prevention+Trust&utm_campaign=ae6db702d8-grapes-guardian&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_07d0f347c0-ae6db702d8-151808877&mc_cid=ae6db702d8&mc_eid=a9a99a3785


Doctors have issued a stark warning that young children can choke to death on whole grapes, describing three cases of children who needed emergency treatment:


*   A five-year-old boy choked while eating grapes at an after-school club. Despite first aid, the grape could not be dislodged and the child had a heart attack and died.

*   A 17-month-old boy choked while eating grapes with his family at home. Paramedics were called and the grape was eventually removed but the little boy still died.

*   A two-year-old choked while snacking on grapes in the park. He suffered two seizures and spent five days in intensive care before thankfully making a full recovery.

The doctors warn that food is responsible for over half of all fatal choking accidents, with grapes the third most common cause of death in food-related incidents.

Why are grapes so dangerous?

The size and shape of grapes means they can completely plug a child’s airway. And the tight seal produced by the grape’s smooth surface makes them difficult to dislodge with standard first aid techniques.


Young children are particularly vulnerable to choking on grapes because:

*   They don’t have a full set of teeth and are still learning to chew properly.

*   Their swallow reflex is still developing.

*   Their airway is very small.

It’s why we advise that grapes should be chopped in half lengthways and ideally in quarters.

As a shared learning point, Doctors are asking that this information is shared widely across your networks.