This alarming x-ray shows how important it is for parents to be vigilant about food even as your children get older.
The x-ray image, shared on Australian Facebook page, Finlee and Me, shows a circular object lodged in the lungs of a young child.
It comes with a chilling reminder of just how dangerous seemingly harmless items can really be.
What the x-ray shows is a grape. Yes. A grape. It’s lodged at the top of a five-year-old’s airway and had to be removed under general anaesthetic.
As the post explains,
“Do you know what this X-ray is of? A grape!
A grape that was lodged in the top of a five year olds airway. This sweet soul had to be operated on, under general anaesthetic to remove the grape.
He is VERY lucky that part of his airway was open or else this could have ended badly.
So please be mindful that not all kids chew their food, are in a rush at school to get in the playground etc. Please be careful. And when in doubt just cut the damn grapes, baby tomatoes etc.”
The warning has been shared over 12,000 times and received thousands of comments from shocked parents.
A UK Mum has previously warned parents to ALWAYS slice grapes after her two year old son almost choked to death. Her post went viral with over 420,000 shares.
What to do if your child is choking
The below video by St John Ambulance shows you what to do if a child is choking.
Kidsafe recommend “choking on food or a small object may occur at all ages. However, it is a particular problem for young children 0–4 years due to their small breathing tubes (airways) and the fact that they are still developing their teeth and the ability to chew and swallow.
Young children are most at risk of choking on some foods because their incisor teeth erupt 10 months to 2 years before the second molars (at 20–30 months). Thus there is a period of time that children are able to bite off portions of food without being able to fully grind the food before they swallow it.
The most common types of food that young children choke on are nuts, popcorn, corn chips, whole grapes, hard or sticky lollies, foods that have small and hard pieces (such as raw carrot, celery or apple), foods with tough skin such as sausages and hotdogs, and stringy meats such as chicken and steak.
Young children commonly place small objects into their mouth as a means of exploring the world around them. These can be small items such as buttons, batteries, coins, parts from toys, marbles, pen tops, and other small round objects.”
Prevention of choking via Kidsafe
There is conflict between the importance for children to eat raw, natural and often more healthy foods, and their ability to chew these foods properly.
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.
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