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Who would think a grape could be harmful to a child?

You probably thought that grapes are a good alternative to sweets – think again!

This is the story of how an innocent grape became life threatening.

A Mother’s Story:

You wouldn't think that a grape could kill a child. Our 14-month-old boy got a grape lodged in his throat when he gasped with delight at the antics of our cat whilst eating. He stopped breathing and fell unconscious.

Our nanny tried to remove the grape from his air pipe, and her brother, who by chance was there at the time, ended up giving him mouth to mouth resuscitation to keep him alive. Through these efforts Luke revived sufficiently and had enough oxygen supplied to his brain. He was in a serious condition and an ambulance was called.

The doctors eventually removed the grape from his throat in hospital, but my little boy’s lungs had started to collapse. He was critically ill on a life support machine for five days and then on a ventilator for a further agonising five days. We had a nerve-wracking Christmas. But after two weeks in hospital, the best present of all - on New Years Eve, he was allowed to come home.

Within days he resumed walking and then he picked up six new words. To our amazement and relief, he has shown no signs of brain damage and is developing completely normally.

The medical staff who looked after him is astonished that he survived the accident unscathed. They said that it was the prompt first aid he received which saved his life – that and an ambulance being called so quickly, by our nanny and her brother. All my son’s medical reports raised serious doubts about his neurological condition – the first aid prevented the expected brain damage.

Dr Allan Goldman the Paediatric Intensive Care consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital, comments on how giving grapes to young children can cause problems:

"This is now the third patient in two hospitals where children under 33 months have choked on a grape. Our message is to be cautious when feeding toddlers grapes, and if possible to cut them in half. Also I would like to say how delighted we are with this little boys’ outcome and congratulate all the first aid and medical teams who contributed to saving his life."

Childalert encourages parents and child carers to be prepared in First Aid; courses are offered under Safety and the Seminar/Events sections of the Childalert website. Nannyboard – the emergency organiser is a Childalert product providing First Aid reminders on an easy wipe plastic board that can be affixed to any fridge or wall. 

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