Parents and caregivers must always ensure snacks— including fruit given to babies or toddlers — be sliced smaller to avoid the child choking on food. However, sometimes when distracted with work or preoccupied, parents might shrug this off and think, “Just this once. He has teeth, he will be fine.”
But it is never fine. Remember the toddler who nearly died eating grapes? That could happen to any child when you least expect it. This includes older children who you might think are past the risks of choking.
Take this story, for example, where a three-year-old boy choked to death on a longan on March 28.
For those unfamiliar with the fruit, the longan is a tropical fruit which resembles an eyeball when shelled, hence the name “dragon eye.” Inside the flesh is a small, round, hard seed.
China Press reported that the young Malaysian boy was eating longan with a group of children at a longhouse in Kampung Pasai Siong, Sibu. No one was monitoring the children because both the victim’s grandmother and aunt were busy. The child’s father, on the other hand, was farming crops nearby.
Shouts Alerted People of the Child Choking
The boy’s family only noticed the child choking on food after hearing cries of help coming from the children. The longan was lodged in the young boy’s throat and he was having trouble breathing.
His father sought immediate help, but tragically the boy was unconscious and purple in the face when they reached Sibu Hospital. The boy could not be revived and passed away that very afternoon. Our hearts goes out to the family for their pain and loss.
Preventive Measures to Avoid Child Choking on Food
- Never leave a small child unattended while eating.
- Remind your child to sit when eating and to chew thoroughly before swallowing.
- Don’t give kids younger than four years old any hard, smooth foods that are potential choking hazards, such as:
- nuts of any type
- sunflower seeds
- fruits with pits and seeds
- raw carrots
- hard candy
- Soft foods that can also cause choking:
- cheese cubes
- hot dogs
- Always cut fruits into smaller sizes before offering them to your child, and remember to remove the seeds and pits if any.
- Advocate about risks involving child choking on food to other parents and caregivers.
- Be equipped with skills to give first aid and other life-saving techniques.
The video below will show you step by step what to do when faced with a child choking on food:
Source: China Press, Kids Health
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore