A grieving mother has issued an urgent warning to other parents following the sudden choking death of her 5-year-old daughter. In an anonymous online post, the mother said that her daughter, Sophie, “had choked on a mini egg and I was unable to dislodge it, even with back slaps and pushing up and under her ribs.”
“I had done a first aid course only six months prior to this event so all the techniques to help a choking child were still fresh in my mind but it didn’t help,” the mother wrote on the British online forum, Mums Advice. “I watched the light slip away from my baby’s eyes, I tried in vain to save her.”
The devastated mom added that this “seemingly harmless treat took my angel away.”
Her advice? Watch you kids “extra closely and remind them to sit down [while] eating them or avoid them altogether.”
Many parents replied to the post, offering their messages of condolence and support. Others shared that they had experienced the same problem with the chocolate candy.
“My son was around 5 when he was in his car seat nibbling on them and then he began to choke, my first instinct was to stick my finger in his mouth to dislodge it, luckily it worked,” one wrote.
Another concerned Grandmother said, “I’ve bought these Easter eggs for my eight grandchildren. Wish I’d chosen something different now.”
Another mom named Nikkie added:
“My son does not have these even to this day. When he was three he choked on one. It completely blocked his airway, he could not make a sound. Everything slowed down. Luckily I had attended a first aid course only two weeks earlier and with firm back slaps it dislodged and shot across the room.
I remember it like it was yesterday, yet it was over seven years ago. We were lucky, but reading this notice it makes me realize how so close to tragedy we were.”
Chocolate manufacturer Cadbury seems to be aware of the potential hazard, warning consumers about the dangers of the candy:
“Choking Hazard: This product is not suitable for children under four,” it states on the mini eggs packaging.
“We were saddened by this tragic event as the safety of our customers is of the upmost importance to us,” a spokesperson of the famed British chocolate company told the Daily Mail. “We ensure that all of our Cadbury Mini Eggs packaging very clearly carries the following warning: Choking Hazard: This product is not suitable for children under 4.”
The UK’s National Health Service website has excellent advice on how to assist a choking child:
- If you can see the object, try to remove it. Don’t poke blindly or repeatedly with your fingers. You could make things worse by pushing the object further in and making it harder to remove.
- If your child is coughing loudly, there’s no need to do anything. Encourage them to carry on coughing and don’t leave them.
- If your child’s coughing is not effective (it’s silent or they can’t breathe in properly), shout for help immediately and decide whether they’re still conscious.
- If your child is still conscious, but they’re either not coughing or their coughing is not effective, use back blows (see below).”
Back blows for babies under one year:
- Sit down and lay your baby face down along your thighs, supporting their head with your hand.
- Give up to five sharp back blows with the heel of one hand in the middle of the back between the shoulder blades.
Back blows for children over one year
- Lay a small child face down on your lap as you would a baby.
- If this isn’t possible, support your child in a forward-leaning position and give five back blows from behind.
You can find the full list of advice here.
(H/T: Daily Mail)