A childcare blogger has brought attention to the issue of choking hazards with a single Facebook post featuring a picture of an X-ray.
Angela Henderson is a psychologist and sociologist dedicated to child development and mental health. She runs the blog Finlee and Me. According to the blog's Facebook page, her content is normally focused on things such as activity and toy ideas that parents can use to help with the development of their children.
However, on April 4, Henderson posted a picture of a bit more somber nature. The picture posted was an X-ray of an airway that had been blocked by a grape. The airway was that of a 5-year-old child, whose name was not disclosed in the post.
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"This sweet soul had to be operated on, under general anesthetic to remove the grape," the post read. "He is VERY lucky that part of his airway was open or else this could have ended badly. So please be mindful that [kids don't always] chew their food, are in a rush at school to get in the playground, etc."
Henderson also thanked both the pediatrician who provided the photo as well as the mother for giving consent to use the X-ray image of her 5-year-old child.
Henderson's post brings attention to an issue that is actually fairly common.
In December of 2016, CBS News reported on an article that appeared in the online journal "Archives of Disease and Childhood." The report, which was written by Dr. Jamie Cooper and Dr. Amy Lumsden, included case studies of three boys under the age of 5 who had all choked on grapes. For two of the boys, the choking was fatal.
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According to the study, food accounts for over half of choking-related deaths among children under 5. Grapes were included in the top three foods that caused such deaths; the top three also included hot dogs and candy.
“While there are plenty of warnings on the packaging of small toys about the potential choking hazard they represent, no such warnings are available on foodstuffs, such as grapes and cherry tomatoes,” the authors said in a journal news release, according to CBS News.
While the idea of a child choking on something as common as grapes can be a frightening prospect, there is indeed a simple solution to such a problem. According to the researchers, foods that present a choking hazard "should be chopped in half and ideally quartered before being given to young children [aged 5 and under].”
Henderson's post also suggested a similar course of action to parents.
"Please be careful," the post read. "And when in doubt just cut the d*** grapes, baby tomatoes, etc.