Americans cannot imagine a family movie night without popcorn, but, a family in Colorado recently found out the hard way that it’s not a good snack for young children.
Nicole and Jake Goddard have three children. The family enjoys a movie night together every week, always accompanied by a big bowl of popcorn.
Their youngest child, two-year-old Nash began to choke. He started making some gagging noises, but then it breathing normally again, and his parents assumed he has swallowed it, as they didn’t see any popcorn come out.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
Several days later, Nicole Goddard noticed that her son was continuing to cough.
She thought it was due to a recent virus that had infiltrated the family. Yet, the next day, the boy’s fever spiked to 104F, so he was taken to the emergency room.
As soon as they got to emergency room, her fears were confirmed: there was something very wrong.
They sent them to the hospital where they did a chest X-ray, which was inconclusive but concerning.
The medical staff decided to fly Nash to Denver immediately for a bronchoscopy, a procedure that examines the inside of the airways.
Doctors conducted testings which revealed that he had six pieces of popcorn stuck in the lungs, and they caused so much inflammation that led to aspiration pneumonia.
It can be caused by small food particles, stomach contents, and fluids, and it becomes dangerous until the aspirated matter cannot be cleared by the body. The initial symptoms are a choking incident followed by the development of a cough.
Its primary treatment is antibiotics, but in some severe cases, it requires more invasive treatments, which can include surgery.
Nash was directly sent to surgery to clear foreign debris from his lungs. The medical staff decided to fly him to Denver immediately for a bronchoscopy, a procedure that examines the inside of the airways.
Thanks to his mom’s attention and the doctors’ quick intervention, young Nash will hopefully be back to good health soon.
Many parents aren’t aware that popcorn isn’t safe for children below kindergarten age. In fact, it’s a leading cause of choking injuries and deaths in children.
Children who are under the age of four are most likely to die of choking with more than 12,000 admitted into the emergency room every year. However, once they reach the age of four or five, children can break food down better and are less likely to choke.
Because foods like hot dogs and grapes are also choking hazards, they shouldn’t be given to children under the age of five. Thankfully, Nash Goddard is doing just fine. But his parents want others to take a warning from his story.