Watching your child suffering is every parent’s worst nightmare. A Detroit family is grieving the loss of a 2-year-old boy after choked on grapes to death while grocery shopping. Now the mother is urging parents to enroll in CPR classes.
The toddler’s mom, Emma Carver, said she was at a grocery store with her son, Ayyan Umar when the choking began. The toddler was sitting in the cart while his mother looked at cheese, and began eating the grapes that were in the cart with him.
She said she had no idea his son was eating the grapes until she heard a choking sound and saw her son struggling.
“I even threw the cheese down and I started banging on him,” Carver told news outlet. “I started banging on him but it wasn’t getting it out so it had to be lodged.”
Another shopper reportedly called 911 while another tried CPR. Medics responded approximately six minutes after the call and were able to remove one of the grapes. It was too late, the boy, however, was already dead.
“I was feeling like maybe it was a bad dream, maybe somebody gonna wakes me up,” the toddler’s father, Mohammad Umar, said. “He sleeps on my chest. I see him everywhere.”
Carver said she and her son’s father signed up for a first aid class after Ayyan’s tragic death, and encouraged others to follow suit.
Grapes are larger than a young child’s airway according to experts and the smooth soft surface of a grape can form a tight seal in an airway. It will not only blocks the airway but also makes it more difficult to remove the grape without special equipment.
Choking is the leading cause of death among children 3 years old and younger, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. High-risk foods include grapes, hot dogs, popcorn, hard candy, nuts, seeds, and raw carrots. The AAP recommends cutting hot dogs lengthwise and grapes into quarters, noting “this changes the dangerous round shape that can block a young child’s throat.”
Hot dogs are the top cause of food-related choking deaths.