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.