Parents with young children, the next time you go to the supermarket skip purchasing this season’s Australian grapes.
According to Australian paediatrician Dr. Luke Sammartino, these grapes have increasingly started to cause choking in toddlers because of how they are bigger than usual this season.
Dr Sammartino gave this warning to parents after seeing a dramatic rise in the number of fruit-caused choking cases in toddlers.
In an interview with Australian daily newspaper, the Herald Sun, Dr Sammartino said, “We are seeing grapes this season that are particularly big. This can present a choking hazard and there have been cases where children have swallowed a whole grape and it has become stuck in their throats.”
This is not the first time grapes have posed a threat to toddlers.
X-ray of grape in 5-year-old boy’s airway in 2017| Source: Finlee and Me/FB
Fortunately, he was saved after going through an operation under general anaesthesia.
‘As a paediatrician who consults with hundreds of families every year, I have seen and heard it all and an incident like this is obviously incredibly distressing for parents and constitutes an emergency situation requiring immediate attention,’ Dr Sammartino added.
This season’s grapes are ‘very mature’
The Australian Table Grape Association’s Chief Executive Jeff Scott commented that this season’s grapes are of a larger size because of a dry winter with cold nights, sunny days and minimal rainfall.
As a result of this and the ongoing drought, the grapes have become ‘very mature’.
Besides, grapes other fruits and vegetables also cause choking
- Cherry tomato
- Melon balls
- Baby carrot
- Canned fruit pieces
- Green beans
For parents who choose to feed their toddler these foods, do cut them into smaller pieces to make it easier for toddlers to swallow.
What parents can do if your child is choking
- If your child is choking encourage him/her to continue doing so as this might bring up the food they are choking on
- Bend your child forward and give him/her about 5 sharp blows on the back with the heel of one hand
- After each blow, check if the blockage has been removed
- If the five blows don’t work, give five thrusts by placing one hand in the middle of your child’s back
- If the blockage still does not stop, immediately call 995
Parents, do take these necessary steps to prevent your child from choking.