The picture showed an item – which Angela identified as a grape – stuck in the airway of a five-year-old boy.
Almost a year later and the image – and the warning Angela, an experienced clinician, shared with it – is going viral online, after the choking death of three-year-old Alby Davis, who died on March 2 when a bouncy ball became lodged in his throat.
“Do you know what this X-ray is of? A grape! A grape that was lodged in the top of a 5 year old’s airway today,” Angela wrote alongside the snap.
“This sweet soul had to be operated on, under general anaesthetic to remove the grape. He is VERY lucky that part of his airway was open or else this could have ended badly.
“Please be mindful that not all kids chew their food, are in a rush at school to get in the playground etc.
“Please be careful. And when in doubt just cut the damn grapes, baby tomatoes.”
The post has been shared more than 27,000 times and has amassed over 3,200 comments, many from parents sharing similar scary tales.
LISTEN: CPR Kids Founder Sarah Hunstead runs through exactly how to save your child if they’re ever choking. Post continues after audio.
“Please cut the grapes for your kids. This happened to my niece a few years back. If she was in another room while eating them, I would not have been there to save her,” one woman wrote.
“My greatest fear has always been one of my grandchildren choking, you must cut up grapes for children,” another shared.
According to NSW Health, children aged three and under can choke on any item smaller than a 20 cent piece, like fruit and vegetable pieces, popcorn, nuts, hard lollies, batteries, marbles and broken or small toys.
Parents and guardians are encouraged to chop, cook or mash hard fruit and vegetables, like grapes, and try to minimise laughing and crying during mealtimes. Children should also be encouraged to take small-sized bites, chew thoroughly and swallow each mouthful.
Choking awareness has been brought to the forefront again after three-year-old Alby died earlier this month when he choked on a bouncy ball.
Just days away from celebrating his fourth birthday, the ball became lodged in his throat and his mother was unable to save or revive him.
Sarah Hunstead, paediatric nurse and founder of CPR Kids, a company that specialises in providing first aid knowledge to parents, recently told Mamamia the number-one thing a parent should do if they believe their child is choking is to remain calm.
The best way to avoid panic is to know what to do. Sarah recommends encourage a child to cough, if they are able, and to remove the cause of choking only if it is in the front of the mouth and can easily be removed.
"Don't do a big finger sweep. We don't want to push anything that's at the back further down," she said.
Read more of Sarah's tips here.
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