When it comes to watching a movie, popcorn is a popular snack that goes with it. Everyone loves eating it. But it is not recommended for all age groups. It might prove as a choking hazard for toddlers. It recently came to the knowledge of Nicole Johnson Goddard, a mother of 3 children. Her little kid ate the popcorn and then had to undergo 2 surgeries to remove it from his lungs.
It was a regular Saturday night for Goddard family and they were watching a movie, which they often do on weekends. Nichole didn’t give it much thought and gave her toddler, Nash, popcorn to eat. He choked a little later but was fine. Later he developed a little cough. Next day he had a weird sounding cough which made his mother worry a bit. By night Nichole noticed that Nash felt warm and was a bit fussy too. He had a fever so she gave him Motrin and put him to bed. Late that night she noticed that he had trouble in breathing and it looked a little labored.
The mother got worried about his health and she immediately called her pediatrician. The pediatrician asked her to bring Nash to the hospital as soon as possible.
They had the chest X-ray done. The results concerned the doctors, who then scheduled bronchoscopy for the toddler. This procedure helps the doctors to view inside the patient’s lungs and airway. After the bronchoscopy results came, the physicians decided that Nash would have to undergo surgery.
He had pneumonia on his left lung, as the aerated popcorn was a foreign object for the body which had developed puss pockets around it. The surgeon removed six pieces of popcorn during the surgery but was still not sure that he got all pieces removed from the lungs. Hence, they had to perform another surgery. Nash, the poor kid, had to undergo the surgery again. The doctors finally removed the last piece of popcorn from his lungs. All this while Nichole paced here and there and cried.
Nash recovered soon and was discharged from the hospital that night. Nichole was shaken by this experience but was also thankful to god. She said that if she wouldn’t have trusted her instincts and brought Nash to the hospital, the outcome wouldn’t have been good. The physician gave a lecture to Nichole about not giving popcorn to children below the age of 5 as it is quite dangerous for them.
Now that I’ve had a chance to sit and reflect on a very unfortunate but eye opening event that our family encountered. I…
Nichole posted this incident on her social media handle to make other parents aware about it and to warn them about the consequences of giving popcorn to toddlers. Her post was shared 135,000 times. She even wrote that, “I hate to use the excuse that he is our third child and so I overlook and don’t pay as close attention to the do’s and don’ts as we did for our first.”
There are many food items suggested by Cleveland Clinic that should not be given to children between age groups of 1 to 3. These food items include small hard foods like, nuts, seeds, raisins and raw carrot, slippery food items like peanut butter and marshmallow. Candy and cough drops are also not recommended.