A mum whose daughter nearly choked to death when a lollipop became lodged in her throat is calling for the sweets to be banned from shelves.

Shannon Mcwilliam, 24, was left in tears as she frantically tried to dislodge the fruity blackcurrant lolly from three-year-old daughter Ariah’s throat as the youngster choked, turned purple, and lay on the ground shaking for three minutes, reports Yahoo.

The petrified mum-of-two, from the Scotland town of Dumfries, pounded Ariah’s back before the youngster was rushed to hospital and spent 24 hours needing round-the-clock care.

Ms Mcwilliam claims the Swizzels lollipops, found in Halloween-themed ‘Trick or Sweet’ packets, are dangerous for children as they don’t have a hole going through it to allow for airflow – and is now calling for them to no longer be sold.

halloween lolly

“It was the worst night of my life, I’ve never experienced anything like that. I was living a nightmare.

“Ariah suddenly flung herself onto the floor holding her neck. Her back was arched back, and she was shaking and moving up and down,” the mother said.

She claims the lolly slipped off the stick without any biting or pulling and it was still roughly its original size.

“She was crying trying to scream for help but nothing came out. I didn’t think I was going to get her free, I felt like I was trying for ages, but nothing was working.”

Ms Mcwilliam tried to stay calm to not scare her shaken girls but couldn’t contain her tears when Ariah’s face turned a pale purple.

“When I saw her colour transform like that, I thought I was running out of time, I felt like I was going to lose her.

“It took three minutes before it came loose, but it felt like a lifetime. I thought time stood still.

“It felt like she was lying there so lifeless, and I didn’t think she was going to make it. I thought she was going to die.

Ariah was then rushed to hospital where she was put on 24-hour care.

The mum claims lollipops that don’t have a hole going through the sweet to allow for airflow are “potential killers” that shouldn’t be sold on shelves when they can harm children.

“I work in a restaurant and each child is meant to receive a lolly after their meal, but I refuse now, if anything I’ll give them a pack of sweets, but I refuse to give them a lollipop,” the waitress said.

“I want to get it out there that lollipops are dangerous, and anything can happen if you’re looking away for just a couple minutes.”

Since sharing Ariah’s terrifying experience with others, Ms Mcwilliam has heard stories from other parents who said their child actually died after choking on lollies.

Something we all need to be aware of! I have actually purchased these myself in a big tub at Christmas time from Catch of the Day.

Share your comments below

Getty image

  • Lollipops can be very dangerous, I can remember having an incident with one as a kid. But didn’t stop us from having them. I can also remember breathing in a cough drop which caught me by surprise. You have to be careful with most things


  • Many years ago some Lifesavers brand circular lollies had a hole in the centre of them. If you bit a piece off and swallowed it, that may still have caused breathing problems etc. Even some toddlers bite pieces out of lollies while they are in their mouths.


  • I understand the fear and anger after such a traumatic experience but I think banning them is extreme, anything can become lodged and choke someone, I mean I can choke on air!


  • Glad she is ok and recovered.


  • Shouldn’t ban them but share awareness for the young ones glad you baby is okay, every mother’s worst nightmare


  • Very scary, glad to hear she is ok.


  • Happened to my son once when hard lollies were put out for a lolly hunt. Luckily I was there and ended up fine.


  • Parents worst nightmare! Glad that she is ok!


  • I don’t purchase that type of lollies for my kids I always buy the soft ones and never give them to my toddler


  • Banning them seems extreme – increasing awareness of the risk to young kids is better.

    • Awareness and education for sure and being alert when children have certain foods is a must.


  • We cannot take everything off the shelves. Just be more careful when letting your child have lollies.


  • There are many chocking hazards and thankfully we have never had any issues with lollipops.


  • What a terrifying experience ! Thank God it ended well !
    I never bought and never will buy lollipops for my children.


  • This would have been so scary for both the mother and her child, such a horrible accident.


  • While it would have been terrifying for them, firstly I wouldn’t give a three year old a lolly pop, and secondly we can’t just ban everything a child has ever choked on. If you chooses to give these things to a small child, you should be watching them closely. I’m glad she’s ok


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating