Respiratory tract

Pediatricians warn: Grapes can easily block a child's airways

Pediatricians warn: Grapes can easily block a child's airways

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Grapes have an increased risk of suffocation in children
Grapes are delicious, almost fat-free and also contain many healthy ingredients. But doctors are now warning that grapes are ideal for blocking a young child's airways. The fruits are the third most common cause of fatal suffocation incidents due to food.

The experts found that grapes are the ideal size and texture to block the airways of young children. The consumption of these fruits massively increases the choking risk of young children.

Grapes rank third in children's suffocation
When it comes to asphyxiation in young children, grapes are very high on the food list. To be precise, they are in third place, behind hot dogs and candies, warn medical doctors against the news paper “Independent”.

Do foods need warnings?
The authors explain that there is widespread awareness of the risk of suffocation that comes from small toys. But there are no routine warnings on most foods. Perhaps this fact should be reconsidered in the future for grapes and similar foods.

Grapes can seal a child's throat perfectly
The popular watery fruits can lead to an increased risk of suffocation compared to some small hard objects or foods. This is due to their smooth, deformable surface. This forms a kind of perfect seal in a child's throat rather than rigid objects, explain the report's authors, Dr. Jamie Cooper and Dr. Amy Lumsden.

Ingested grapes are difficult to remove with the Heimlich handle
Grapes are not only ideally suited to cause an obstruction of the pediatric airways. The flexible and pliable nature of the fruit also makes it very difficult to remove it through a first aid maneuver (Heimlich handle), the experts explain.

Examples of cases in which grapes have blocked the airways in children:
The report cited three different case studies, including a 17-month-old boy who had sandwiches and fruit at home with his family. This incident is evidence of the dangers of choosing our snacks, explain the doctors. In a second incident with a two-year-old child, this did not respond, although the so-called Heimlich handle was used to clear the airways. Fortunately, the child recovered after a paramedic performed a direct laryngoscopy, the doctors add.

Many parents are not aware of the danger posed by grapes
There is a general awareness of the need to monitor children while eating. The experts advise that parents should keep an eye on their offspring, especially when the children get small solid objects or food. But very few parents know about the dangers of grapes and other similar foods.

Halve or divide grapes and similar foods
Parents are advised to cut grapes or similar foods such as cherry tomatoes in half or in four. The doctors emphasize that this can prevent a fatal risk of suffocation. (as)

Author and source information

Video: Obstetrics and Neonatal Care Lecture (June 2022).