When I was growing up, my parents used to pick on my grandfather for “spoiling” me because he’d slice and sometimes peel my grapes for me. This X-ray is proving that maybe he had the right idea.
A five-year-old boy was admitted to the hospital with severe difficulty breathing. After exams and tests, doctors found the cause of his problem. A whole grape was stuck in his airway, blocking it almost entirely. There has been a recent spate of children dying due to grapes blocking their airways, but don’t worry. This little boy ended up fine — after surgery to remove the fruit.
Whole grapes are pretty much the perfect size and shape to block the airways of small children. Sure, we can tell them to chew and not to suck grapes up like a vacuum cleaner, but we can also tell kids not to do lots of stuff. Alas, children are not notoriously good at following directions. It’s kind of their thing.
To better illustrate why people recommend cutting grapes when giving them to young children, one Facebook group shared the “soft-tissue neck radiograph” (that’s basically an X-ray) image of the grape stuck in that little five-year-old’s throat before surgeons removed it.
It’s a doozy and easy to see how other children have died. The grape really does block off that entire airway!
People were stunned by the image, but not exactly surprised.
It doesn’t matter how “silly” it seems, or whether people accuse you of spoiling or coddling your kid. The danger is very real, and lives have been lost. Just cut the grape! Better safe than sorry.