Just Cut The Damn Grapes

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 
Image via Facebook

Mom shares an x-ray of a grape lodged in a child’s throat

I have an irrational fear of others choking. When I see an adult shove a giant bite of steak in their mouth, I start mentally preparing myself to perform the Heimlich. So you can imagine how introducing solid foods to my children went.

I cut everything in small pieces. I can’t help it. My son is six years old and I still cut his grapes in half. My husband often makes fun of me for doing this, but I am going to send this Facebook post I stumbled across to him right now, and tell him to shut his face.

This is an x-ray of a grape that was lodged in a five-year-old’s airway. It was shared to the Facebook page for the blog Finlee and Me, by Australian blogger Angela Henderson. “This sweet soul had to be operated on, under general anaesthetic to remove the grape,” the post reads. “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.”

Exactly. Kids don’t pay attention. They shove food in their mouths and run around like little monkeys. If there is something small that I can do to ease my paranoia, why shouldn’t I?

Healthy says, “Food accounts for over 50% of choking episodes. Keep foods such as grapes, hot dogs, raw carrots, or peanuts away from babies and young children. Cut food for babies and young children into pieces no larger than one-half inch. Encourage children to chew food well. Supervise meal times. Insist that children sit down while eating. Children should never run, walk, play, or lie down with food in their mouths. Be aware of older children’s actions. Many choking incidents are caused when an older child gives a dangerous toy or food to a younger child.”

It’s also great to share this information on play dates. Don’t just assume others follow the same rules of safety that you do. I went to my child’s preschool for a holiday party a few months ago, and they were passing around a tray of veggies with whole cherry tomatoes on it. A parent actually thought that was a good choice to bring in for three-year-olds — and the workers at the school were actually handing the tomatoes out. Same goes for a fruit tray with giant globe grapes. I kept looking around at the other parents, waiting for someone else to look concerned. I asked, “Aren’t you going to cut those in half?” The kids were sitting at their little tables with parents mingling in another room. I had to cut through to the kids’ room to cut them for my child — and I felt like the only worried freak there. But whatever. I allow myself that. I cover news about children for a living. I am paranoid.

As Henderson writes, “Please be careful. And when in doubt just cut the damn grapes.”

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