It's movie night and everyone's excited to plop down on the couch and enjoy a family flick. You've got candy, popcorn and a few other snacks for the kids. Even your toddler is ready for family movie night. However, the big mistake here is the food.
Your children range in age. You constantly watch what goes on to make sure everyone stays safe. However, older kids can easily turn your efforts upside down when it comes to younger siblings. You've unintentionally put your toddler at risk for choking just by having popcorn available to your older children. Even if you don't hand your toddler a piece directly, he can still get a hold of them. Thanks, big bro!
One such incident happened to a Colorado mom, Nicole Goddard. She shares her horrific story on Facebook.
Her young son, Nash, had eaten a piece of popcorn. He had a little choking episode and appeared to be fine after it. However, what Goddard didn't know was that Nash had aspirated the popcorn. The only thing different about her son was a cough he had developed after the choking episode. It was a rush to the hospital and surgery after that. The doctors were able to remove more than six pieces of popcorn from his lungs. A terrifying experience she wants all mothers to be aware of. To know that popcorn is not something to give anyone under the age of 5.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), "Food accounts for over 50% of choking episodes." That includes some of your kids' favorite foods ... popcorn included ... which should be kept from their younger siblings, too.
"Be aware of older children’s actions," says the AAP. "Many choking incidents are caused when an older child gives a dangerous toy or food to a younger child."
The AAP says to keep the following foods away from children younger than 4 years:
- Hot dogs
- Nuts and seeds
- Chunks of meat or cheese
- Whole grapes
- Hard or sticky candy
- Chunks of peanut butter
- Chunks of raw vegetables
- Chewing gum