It’s an exciting (and messy) time for parents when babies start eating solid food. Many start with baby cereal and purees, either homemade or store bought. Many others start with cut up pieces of food that they feed to themselves via baby led weaning. In any case, all children learn to eat by themselves eventually.

We know that it’s important to cut food for tiny tots into manageable pieces, but did you also know that some foods are choking hazards? Popcorn and nuts can get lodged in a small child’s throat if they are not chewed up properly. Other items like hotdogs and grapes need to be cut in a certain way, or they can also get lodged in a child’s throat.

When it comes to hotdogs, they need to be cut in long strips, not circles. When it comes to grapes, they also need to be cut in strips and not just cut in half. The width of the grape could still get lodged in a child’s throat if it were swallowed without being chewed up.

It may be easy for parents, grandparents and babysitters to dismiss these choking hazard warnings as unimportant, but they really are important, and here’s proof.

A 5-year-old boy swallowed a grape whole, and he had to be operated on to have it removed. He was really lucky that a small part of his airway was still open, or this story could have ended in tragedy. 

A mom named Angela shared this story about the 5-year-old who swallowed a grape on Facebook. She writes, “So please be mindful that not all kids chew their food, are in a rush at school to get in the playground etc. Please be careful. And when in doubt just cut the damn grapes, baby tomatoes etc.”

We know it surprised us that whole grapes are choking hazards for children as old as 5. We’ll be cutting up the grapes and baby tomatoes on the regular after seeing this image. Apparently, we’re not the only ones.

In the comments on Angela’s post, some parents have shared similar stories about their children almost dying from choking on food. For example, one mom shared a story about her daughter.

This happened to my daughter at 2 years old. BUT she couldn’t breath. She was looking at me with panic in her eyes and tears rolling down her cheeks. I picked her up and tried to turn her up side down a bit to unlodge it. It didn’t work. Then I tried to scoop it out that didn’t work. I was so scared as there was no way the ambulance would make it on time. Then I grabbed her in a football carry and ran down the hall to get my 13 year old to call 911 as a last hope. I was yelling and running. As we stopped in front of my oldest door the grape flew out of my youngest mouth.

I have never been more scared in my life.

Did you know that grapes are choking hazards? Have your children ever swallowed something they shouldn’t?