(RxWiki News) Doctors are warning that young children can choke to death on whole grapes.
This warning comes after three cases of young children requiring emergency treatment after choking on whole grapes were detailed in a case report.
In fact, grapes have become the third most common cause of food-related choking, according to these doctors, who wrote in the Archive of Disease in Childhood. Grapes, which placed third after hot dogs and sweets, tend to be larger than a young child's airway.
Grapes are unlike small, hard objects because their smooth surface forms a tight seal in an airway, which makes it difficult to remove. Special equipment is needed to dislodge grapes.
"There is general awareness of the need to supervise young children when they are eating and to get small solid objects, and some foods such as nuts, promptly out of the mouths of small children; but knowledge of the dangers posed by grapes and other similar foods is not widespread," the authors of this case report wrote.
The authors noted that small toys have warnings about a potential choking hazard on their containers, but these warnings are not available on potentially hazardous foods like tomatoes and grapes.
The case report authors go on to recommend halving or, ideally, quartering grapes before giving them to children younger than 5, as well as supervising young children while they are eating.