The frightening x-ray image every parent needs to see

grape lodged in lungs child choking

This alarming x-ray of a child choking on a grape shows how parents need to be vigilant about food even as children grow older.

The x-ray image, shared on Australian Facebook page, Finlee and Me, shows a circular object lodged in the lungs of a young child. It comes with an important message for all parents and a chilling reminder of just how dangerous seemingly harmless items can really be.

“Cut the damn grapes.”

grapes cut in half

What the x-ray shows is a grape. Yes. A grape. It’s lodged at the top of a five-year-old’s airway and had to be removed under general anaesthetic.

While the doctors were able to remove the grape, the chilling image and accompanying message remains fixed in the minds of mums everywhere.

As the post explains,

“Please be mindful that not all kids chew their food, are in a rush at school to get in the playground etc. And when in doubt just cut the damn grapes, baby tomatoes etc.”

Choking continues to alarm parents

This isn’t the first time a child has choked on a small object. And it won’t be the last.

Parents need to be mindful of the various choking hazards around the home, from food to coins, from batteries to craft supplies. It can happen in an instant. And it can be life changing.

What to do if your child is choking

Now here’s the other frightening bit. Most parents do not know the correct technique when it comes to helping a choking infant or child, even though almost 60 per cent say that choking is a major fear.

Have a look at this incredibly important video by St John Ambulance on what to do if your infant is choking:

If you don’t have time to watch the video, please take note of the three steps:

  1. Lay child face down on your thigh and give up to five back blows.
  2. Turn child over and give up to five chest thrusts.
  3. If that doesn’t work, call an ambulance.

For an older child, bend the child forward rather than laying them face down on your thigh. The procedure remains the same as above.

Signs to watch for

Sometimes you may not even realise a child has inhaled an object or has an object obstructing their airway until it is an emergency. As well as coughing and difficulty breathing, symptoms of an obstruction of the airways include:

  • cyanosis, or bluish-coloured skin or lips
  • high-pitched breathing noises such as wheezing
  • panicking and gasping for air
  • watery eyes and a red face

Where to find support

For more information on what to do if your child is choking, have a look at the links below:

Be sure to keep an eye on our product recall page for common products sold in Australia that have been recalled due to choking. Some of the most recent recalls include: