A MUM has revealed how her daughter nearly died after she made a simple snack time mistake.
Laura Lou Chambers gave four-year-old Olivia and her brother Oscar a few grapes and a portion of dried cereal before the terrifying ordeal.
Writing in a post shared on social media by parent educators CPR Kids, the mum described how Olivia struggled for her life after the grape got lodged in her throat.
She said: "Off she went up stairs with her bowls of snack to carry on playing with her brother.
"I continued hoovering. Lluckily I'd switched it off when I heard her at the top of the stairs.
"I knew in an instant what had happened. I ran to her. She couldn't breathe.
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"She had gone to chew a grape and it had shot to the back of her throat, gone down and got wedged."
Choking happens when someone's airway suddenly gets blocked, either fully or partly.
Around 276 Brits died from choking in 2021, according to the Office For National Statistics.
The NHS recommends you encourage someone that is choking to try and cough if it is only a mild blockage.
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If the choking is severe, you should give them five sharp blows behind their shoulder blades with the heel of your hand and perform five abdominal thrusts if not.
These involve standing behind the person choking, placing your arms around their waist, clenching your fist above their belly button and placing the other hand over that.
You should then pull sharply inwards.
The health service says you should ring 999 and ask for an ambulance if this does not clear the blockage.
Recalling how Olivia struggled while choking, the mum said: “I turned her over and hit her as hard as I could between the shoulder blades and still nothing.
“She was looking me dead in the eyes and her lips turned blue as she couldn't breathe at all.
“We finally managed to perform some manoeuvre on her that sent this grape pictured flying across the room.
“I lay here now watching her sleep. I've cried most the night and my heart hurts as I look at her chest where there are still nail indentations from where she clawed at her throat for air.
“Please, please let this be a reminder to all the parents out there – my life nearly changed forever last night all because of my carelessness.”
CPR Kids said the harrowing story served as an important reminder to parents to make sure they know what to do if their child has a similar problem.
A spokesperson said: “Chop the grapes – lengthways, into quarters.
“Know what to do in a choking emergency — it saves lives. Book a paediatric CPR + first aid class.”
What to do if someone is choking
If the airway is only partly blocked, the person will usually be able to speak, cry, cough or breathe, and may be able to clear the blockage themselves.
- Encourage them to keep coughing
- Ask them to try to spit out the object
- Don't put your fingers in their mouth
- If coughing doesn't work, start back blows
- If you can see the object, try to remove it (but don't poke blindly)
- Encouraging coughing
- Shout for help if coughing isn't effective or the child is silent
- Use back blows if the child is still conscious but not coughing
Where choking is severe, the person won't be able to speak, cry, cough or breathe.
Without help, they'll eventually become unconscious, so you should carry out back blows.
Back blows can be carried out on children under one year.
If this doesn't work, chest thrusts can be started on kids up to 12 months old, and abdominal thrusts on those over one year.
Call 999 if the blockage doesn't come out after trying back blows and either chest or abdominal thrusts.
Keep trying this cycle until help arrives.
Even if the object has come out, get medical help. Part of the object might have been left behind, or the patient might have been hurt by the procedure.
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