21 Dec Children Can Choke to Death on Grapes
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Jamie G Cooper
Consultant in Emergency Medicine
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Choking in children can be fatal and regularly grapes can be the cause. We believe that public awareness of the choking hazard posed by grapes (and other similarly shaped foods, such as cherry tomatoes) is not wide spread. By publishing this article we aimed to highlight the problem to health professionals who look after children and also to the public at large in an attempt to reduce the number of future episodes.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: With parental consent we published the cases of three small children who suffered choking episodes as a result of whole grapes, two of whom died as a result. In each case it was not possible to dislodge the grape using first aid techniques.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Small children are at risk from choking because they have smaller airways, reduced ability to chew foods, underdeveloped swallowing coordination and can be easily distracted when eating. Grapes are a healthy and popular snack but are ideally suited to cause airway obstruction, particularly if inhaled whole.
Small children (up to 5 years) should always be supervised by adults while eating; and grapes should be halved, or ideally quartered, before consumption.
We hope that by drawing attention to this issue that consideration will be given at a political level to wider dissemination of this information so as to prevent further occurrences.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Arch Dis Child archdischild-2016-311750Published Online First: 20 December 2016doi:10.1136/archdischild-2016-311750
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