When my children were toddlers and preschoolers, I remember the constant reminders from teachers and playgroups to never send your child to school with grapes or carrots as they often get lodged in a child’s throat and cause choking. Even as my children started elementary school, notes would come home when there was a class party reminding us not to bring grapes unless they were cut into small pieces. I always thought this was overkill but I am typically one to follow the rules and that I did.
Although less of an issue at school, I remember hot dogs being another area of major concern as mentioned in this article. I would always cut whatever food I gave to my children into what I thought were safe sized pieces. I felt as though there was always an adult with them when they were eating but let’s face it, we all turn our backs, or leave the room, if only for a moment. Now that my children are older, it’s not often on my mind. I remind them to take normal size bites, chew carefully and hope for the best.
It was just this past Christmas that I was reminded how seriously these warnings need to be taken. A man that works in our apartment building was, along with his wife, babysitting for his grandson. The 2 year old was given a hot dog for lunch and when his grandparents turned to check on him, he was choking, unable to make sounds. Although, they attempted to dislodge the hot dog and called for help, the baby did not survive. Whenever I hear horror stories such as this, I am, of course, devastated for the people involved, but I am also shaken by the realization that it could have just as easily been my own child.
None of this is intended to be a “downer” but rather a reminder that all those seemingly over the top warnings are out there for a reason.