Did you know that grapes can be very dangerous for your toddler? Ā Grapes need to be sliced or chopped in half lengthways, and even better if they can be cut into quarters.

Such an amazing fruit, the benefits are well known but to a young child they can be a serious choking hazard.

So, why are grapes so dangerous?

The size and shape of grapes means they can completely plug a childā€™s airway. And the tight seal produced by the grapeā€™s smooth surface makes them difficult to dislodge with standard first aid techniques.

Young children are particularly vulnerable to choking because:

  • They donā€™t have a full set of teeth and are still learning to chew properly.
  • Their swallow reflex is still developing.
  • Their airway is very small.

Itā€™s why the advice is that all grapes should be chopped in half lengthways and ideally in quarters.

In recent statement doctors have issued a stark warning that young children can choke to death on whole grapes, describing three cases of children who needed emergency treatment:

  • A five-year-old boy choked while eating grapes at an after-school club. Despite first aid, the grape could not be dislodged and the child had a heart attack and died.
  • A 17-month-old boy choked while eating grapes with his family at home. Paramedics were called and the grape was eventually removed but the little boy still died.
  • A two-year-old choked while snacking on grapes in the park. He suffered two seizures and spent five days in intensive care before thankfully making a full recovery.

The doctors warn that food is responsible for over half of all fatal choking accidents, with grapes the third most common cause of death in food-related incidents.

A clear step-by-step video showing how to help an unconscious baby; how far to tilt their head and how to keep their airway open in the recovery position.

Practical safety tips for you

Grapes are a healthy, easy snack for children.

Be aware of the risks and cut grapes up to stop children choking