Mum of two shares the moment her worst nightmare became a reality.

When Niamh walked in to collect her child from daycare she was met with a terrifying sight.

“She was blue and unresponsive. It was the worst fear I have ever felt in my life. She did not respond to any back slaps and the ambulance were en route when we arrived,” Niamh explains to Kidspot.

“All I could see was her tiny ponytail that sits on the top of her head shaking every time a back slap was administered but to no effect.”

The toddler had been eating a treat with marshmallows in it.

Mum’s Warning

Sharing a warning on Facebook, Niamh wrote :

“Last weekend we had the utterly terrifying experience of watching our baby girl loose consciousness while choking on a marshmallow. We were extremely lucky that the right people were on hand and have no doubt that their quick actions saved Doireann’s life.

I have promised myself that I will make others aware that marshmallows and children do not mix. Sometimes I like to think I know everything but I did not know this!!

The melting marshmallow begins to seep down the throat, expanding and blocking the airway making it impossible to dislodge. Even if the marshmallow does not begin to melt, it is a very airy sweet which is easily sucked down the airway if talking or laughing while it is in the mouth.

Our baby is 17 months old but even for young children and adults these “treats” are lethal.

Please, please bin any mallows you might have at home and spread the word to make everyone aware.

After 2 nights in Temple Street with the most amazing staff, Doireann is now back to being the little dictator that she is accustomed to . We are the lucky ones!”

Although Niamh admits they did cop some abuse from people telling her she should never have given her toddler marshmallows.  Not helpful at all people!

Mum warns parents to ALWAYS slice grapes after her two year old son almost choked to death

This alarming x-ray went viral showing how important it is for parents to be vigilant about food even as your children get older.

Earlier this year a concerned mum warned thousands of parents on social media after posting a message about the dangers of children and solid Easter eggs. Read her post HERE.

Some useful advice to consider when preparing food for young children is:

  • Avoid pieces of raw carrot, celery sticks and chunks of apple (for example). These foods can instead be grated, par boiled so they are slightly softer, or mashed.
  • Sausages, frankfurts and other meats with coarse outer skins should be cut into small pieces and the skin/fat removed. Stringy meats such as chicken and steak also need to be cut into small pieces or minced.
  • Do not give popcorn, nuts, whole grapes, hard lollies, corn chips or other similar foods to young children.

Because the environment in which children eat also has an impact on safe eating, it is important to:

  • Always stay with your young child.
  • Make sure that your young child sits quietly while eating.
  • Never force your young child to eat, as this may cause them to choke.

What to do if a young child chokes via Kidsafe

Check first if the child is still able to breathe, cough or cry.
If the child IS breathing, coughing or crying, the child may be able to dislodge the food by coughing:

  • Check the child’s mouth for food; remove any food that you can see (scoop it out with your fingers).
  • Stay with the child and watch to see if their breathing improves.
  • If coughing has not removed the food and your child is not breathing easily, phone 000 for an ambulance
  • Give up to 5 sharp blows between the shoulder blades using the heal of your hand.
  • Check the child’s mouth after each back blow and remove any food.
  • If the child is still not breathing, commence CPR. The ambulance service operator will be able to tell you what to do next.

Warning to parents: Popcorn can kill.


Have you had a similar terrifying moment with your child?

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  • The thing with small children is that they can choke on ANYTHING.
    Never leave a child alone while eating.


  • I’m surprised that one of our children always automatically coughs/vomits up (regurgitates) anything that starts to choke him or “goes down the wrong way”.


  • It would have been a very frightening experience for all involved. Being a parent is a learning experience from day dot. Glad Doireann has made a full recovery.


  • A scary experience. But children can choke on anything. I nearly lost my life when I was a teenager, choking on a lolly. We were at the zoo and if it wasn’t for a young mum, who happened to be a nurse, being there at the right time and place I wouldn’t have been here.


  • Thank you for sharing this story.


  • Of course she copped abuse, because people love to criticise and put others down instead of just appreciating the lesson. Kids can choke on anything, if they happen to get it at the wrong angle in their little throats. I never would have expected marshmallows to be a potential choking hazard!

    • Totally agree with you on this one!
      I have no idea why people are so hateful and yes, also didn’t think marshmallows were that bad. I give them to my kids who are 3 and 1 and a half all the time!!!


  • Its a scary experience but I wouldn’t be warning people to cut foods out entirely. Kids can choke on pretty much anything, I cut everything into manageable pieces for my toddler. Part of learning how to eat properly and how to manage eating different textures of foods is something I feel she needs to learn to navigate under supervision. Heck, I still choke sometimes when something I’m eating has an unexpected texture.


  • Feeding foods or drinks to young children is something that needs to managed. Had a few close encounters but not on my watch. Mainly as certain foods are banned from them. My youngsters were 3 before they had marshmallows and these were mini ones in warm chocolate, so slightly melted. Yes the rule sit down and have your food is a major rule as it is so easy to choke on anything, even adults can do that.


  • Thank you for the warning. You wouldn’t think about that happening with marshmallows


  • Since kids can choke on almost anything, the “sit down” rule is really important, and so is staying with them.

    • Excellent point – sitting and eating is good for so many reasons.


  • Thankfully – We have never had this kind of scary choking experience.


  • Quite alarming, ive never heard of a marshmallow being hazardous to a toddler before but it totally makes sense. I’m keeping my marshmallows locked away now!


  • You would not think this could happen,lucky the young girl had people to help her.


  • Terrifying experience. Glad she is ok now. Can’t believe people would pass on judgemental comments after mum has been through something like this and is just trying to warn others.


  • Glad I never ever have marshmallows at home, but you can choke on many other foods and items. My youngest has down syndrome and she used to choke a lot, even while drinking water. I had to thicken her water till she turned 3yrs. It’s scary to see you child choke and in need for air. I applied many sharp blows and still need to do so occasionally.


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