Why slicing grapes before serving to kids could save their lives

Parents warned to chop up grapes before serving them to children after a photo of a 5-year-old's X-ray goes viral.

The frightening image shared by blogger Angela Henderson on her Facebook page, Finlee and Me, shows a 5-year-old boy who was sent to the emergency room after following a grape whole.

RELATED: Beware of these foods that are child choking hazards

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Beware Of These Foods That Are Child Choking Hazards

A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics reveals that more than 12,000 children end up in the emergency room every year for choking on food. The top four foods that are choking hazards for children account for more than half of food-related choking emergency visits. Read on to learn what ten foods put your child at risk.

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1. Hard Candy

Hard candy is the leading cause of choking-related incidents for children, accounting for 15.5 percent. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children under the age of four should not consume hard candies.

Image Credit: Robert Kirk

2. Other Candies including gum

Candies that are sticky or chewing gum are dangerous foods for children under the age of four, according to the AAP. The study reveals that these other types of candies cause 12.8 percent of choking incidents in children.

Image Credit: Noe Montes

3. Meat (Excluding hot dogs)

Besides hot dogs, meat products account for 12.2 percent of choking incidents. Large chunks of tough meat can block a young child's airway.

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4. Bone

Bones account for 12 percent of choking incidents. A 2008 study on children's food injuries pinpoints boned chicken and fish with bones among the top culprits.

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5. Fruits and vegetables

Foods that are especially risky include whole grapes, raw carrots and apples. Children under the age of four are at higher risk of choking than those five and older.

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6. Formula/Breast Milk/Milk

For children less than a year old, formula, milk and breast milk accounts for 36.3% of choking incidents.

Image Credit: Maria Toutoudaki

7. Seeds/Nuts/Shells

Small nuts and seeds are difficult to chew for young children. They can become easily lodged in a child's throat according to the AAP.

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8. Chips/Pretzels/Popcorn

Infants and toddlers should avoid light and dry foods like popcorn, potato chips and pretzels, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies.

Image Credit: Mark Lund

9. Biscuits/Cookies/Crackers

According to the New York State Department of Health, foods that clump or are sticky, slippery, dry or hard in texture are all choking hazards for children.

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10. Multiple Specified Foods

Supervise young children during meal times to make sure they are not engaging in behaviors that increase choking risk, such as running and playing, when consuming foods.

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Hot Dogs

While not part of the top ten, hot dogs are the eleventh most common choking hazard. Its shape can completely block the airway, and it is the food most commonly associated with fatal choking incidents among children.

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Fortunately, the grape didn't block the child's entire airway, which meant he was still able to breath -- but the fruit was lodged far enough in his throat that doctors were forced to operate in order to remove it.

Now, parents and caregivers everywhere are being urged to slice grapes when preparing the popular fruit for little kids.

SEE ALSO: Removing the screws from your door could help stop a burglar from breaking in

In a recent case report released by the Archives of Disease in Childhood, whole grapes were listed among hot dogs and sweets as foods most likely to be choked on.

"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,"
author Amy J. Lumsden wrote in the study.

"But knowledge of the dangers posed by grapes and other similar foods is not widespread," Lumsden added.

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