Babies and toddlers often put anything and everything they see in their mouths, increasing the chance of choking and suffocating on them. As a parent, always keep an eye on your children. Never let them play with small items that they can put into their mouths and choke on.
Parents need to know this.
Aside from small toy parts, children below 5 years of age should also avoid eating food with small, hard pieces as they could choke on them too. Just like 2-year-old Mirranda Grace Lawson, who died after choking on a small corn kernel while eating popcorn.
On her mother’s birthday, the two-year-old burst into the living room, her eyes bulging. Her parents’ panicked as Mirranda couldn’t breath. A popcorn kernel was lodged deep in Mirranda’s throat, blocking her airway. Her father, Patrick Lawson began CPR but when paramedics arrived and her heart had already stopped.
Doctors at VCU able to resuscitate Mirranda, but informed her parents that their youngest of four children had suffered severe, irreparable brain damage since her brain had no oxygen for quite a while. The 2-year-old Hanover County girl who had been on life support since she choked on a popcorn kernel in May has died on November 1 of this year.
VCU Medical Center and the young girl’s family have been involved in a legal battle for months. The family did not want doctors to perform a brain apnea test, which would have determined if the two-year-old was brain dead, in fear that it would harm her. Her kidneys gave way before they could even do a brain apnea test. She died on November 1.
Tragically, Mirranda Grace Lawson isn’t the first child to choke on a piece of popcorn—but with greater awareness, she can be the last.
Here are some steps in preventing children from choking:
- Never let your child eat without supervision. Never, for example, put your child in a high chair with some food and leave the room.
- Keep all small objects—coins, marbles, pebbles, etc.—cleaned up and out of reach of small children.
- Learn how to dislodge a small object if your child is choking.
Learn how to save a toddler or baby from choking here.