Just when you have finally finished baby-proofing your home and think you have memorised all the safety rules for your children, along comes another viral image carrying a grim warning that’s sure to haunt you for the rest of your child-rearing days.
For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has maintained a list of foods that carry the reputation of being a choking hazard and thus should be kept away from children between the ages of one to four.
Examples from this list include, but are not limited to, foodstuffs such as hard candies, nuts and seeds, chunks of raw vegetables, popcorn, and hot dogs.
Thanks to a recent Facebook post’s image of a child’s X-ray that has gone viral, there’s now a new update to the list: whole grapes.
Now rapidly circulated among the social circles of young parents, the X-ray photo was shared by Angela Henderson on the behalf of the mother of the X-rayed child through the child’s pediatrician.
An Australian woman who works as a blogger, sociologist, psychologist and an advocate for the development of children, Henderson hopes to help raise awareness regarding the danger of choking hazards.
As a result of swallowing the grape whole, the child had to go for surgery to have the obstruction removed and the airway freed.
Thankfully, the child is now fine, but his experience serves as a glaring reminder to other parents the importance of supervising their child’s food and their mealtimes.
This attentiveness can save your child’s life, such as when a mother realized her toddler started choking on a raisin after it was rehydrated by the water the child drank after eating.
With small airways, young children are more likely to choke on food pieces than an older child would have no problems swallowing whole.
Thus, it is incredibly important that parents ensure their children’s food is chopped up into small pieces for the child’s safety.
It is also clinically recommended that food be chopped up into triangular pieces so that the child can still breathe in the event they choke on said food.
This alone may not be enough.
Children, being hyperactive young beings who are more interested in going places than taking their time to chew carefully, may rush down their food or run while eating and increase their risk of choking.
Because of this, experts are imploring that parents seat their child until they have finished their meal, even if this is easier said than done.
Food, obviously, is not the only existing choking hazard.
Broken pieces of toys are well-known choking hazards for children, but other unexpected choking hazards include latex balloons, button-type batteries, marker and pen caps and coins.
There’s even a case where a Texan mother found her 10-year-old daughter choking on a piece of a fidget spinner after it broke apart in her mouth.