Toddler Choked On An Apple In Daycare And Left Severely Disabled

By February 02, 2020
Toddler Choked On An Apple In Daycare And Left Severely Disabled Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

Twenty - two month old Neihana, from NZ, had choked on a chunk of a big piece of an apple given to him by Educators and was in cardiac arrest for half an hour. Neihana was left severely disabled.

Neihana's parent was told by WorkSafe "the kindy did everything it could to minimise the risk", however, they found that they were guidelines that the Ministry of Health recommends all childcare centres to follow to reduce choking on certain high-risk foods.

"If these guidelines had been made regulation after the last toddler died, it would have been very unlikely for my son to have choked" Neihana's mother explained.

The Ministry of Education is considering a ban on foods including sausages, chips and popcorn in early childhood centres because they pose a high choking risk. The Ministry has told centres it wants to make the Ministry of Health guidelines on food preparation compulsory in order to reduce the risk of children under five choking on their food.

Early Childhood Council (ECC) chief executive Peter Reynolds said the proposed ban on choke-risk foods was "over the top".

"Children could choke on anything: On water, on rice, on a daisy out on the lawn. A ban on high choke-risk foods would frustrate teachers". he said.

Most of the choke-risk foods such as sausages and chips were not nutritious and should be banned anyway, Neihana's mother commented.

Children have small air and food passages so they're not expert at chewing and grinding. It's still a learning experience for them.

It's important to offer young children foods that were soft and safe, and parents needed to supervise their children at all times when they're eating. Better supervision is needed in early childhood centres at mealtimes because choking was common in New Zealand.

"My Son Choked On Apple At Daycare And It Wasn't Just A Freak Accident", Stuff NZ. 01 November 2019

Last modified on Monday, 03 February 2020 16:16