Public Health Department are encouraging families to follow this advice with food brought into schools through snack and packed lunches.
Doctors have issued a stark warning that young children can choke to death on whole grapes, following the recent tragedy of a young boy who choked whilst eating grapes at an after-school club. Despite first aid, the grape could not be dislodged and the child had a heart attack and tragically died.
Why are some foods so dangerous?
The size and shape of grapes & cherry/plum tomatoes means they can completely plug a child’s airway. The tight seal produced by the foods smooth surface makes them difficult to dislodge with standard first aid techniques.
Young children are particularly vulnerable to choking on grapes/ tomatoes because:
- Their swallow reflex is still developing.
- Their airway is very small.
- They don’t have a full set of teeth and are still learning to chew properly.
We advise that grapes and tomatoes are cut in half lengthways and ideally in quarters.