Food accounts for over 50% of all choking accidents; this is what you need to know to prevent them.
[Update, September 20, 2019: In Ashton Zager's original post she believed her son choked on a muffin. Later, Ashton Zager's husband, Casey Zager, posted the following update on his Instagram account: "At first, we thought he choked on a muffin, but the medical examiner discovered a bean was blocking his airway."]
Mama of two and fiber artist, Ashton Zager, shared a devastating Facebook post yesterday letting people know that her youngest son had unexpectedly passed away after choking on a piece of banana muffin.
The honest post has been shared over 106,000 times since she initially posted it, as it touches on a fear all parents have: losing their little ones to something so simple as eating a snack.
The heartbreaking post reads:
"My baby died tonight. Hank died. And I'm still in shock so I'm writing it now. He died.
He choked on a muffin. An ordinary muffin. My child who inhaled bananas and oranges and all the scary foods with ease choked on a single bite of banana muffin. 911 was called right away. And the heimlich was performed. And he never lost consciousness with us so when we got to the hospital we thought it was going to be okay. But it was not.
They worked on him for almost 3 hours I think. I'm still really confused why they couldn't just pluck the single bite of muffin from his throat but they couldn't. And his heart gave out. And they performed compressions for nearly an hour before they called us back in to tell us we could hold his hand while they performed compressions for 2 more minutes. I sang to him during that time. Cried to him. Yelled at him that his story was not over. That he wasn't ever supposed to happen so it didn't make sense this would be the end of his story. He was supposed to go on and have an incredible story. His brother, who named him needed him to come home and continue to be his sidekick. That's why we named him Hank Watson. I told him to come back. He didn't come back.
I'm still in shock. I think I'd like to never come out of it. Our people are here. Taking care of us. I don't know what tomorrow will look like or where this journey will go. I just feel like I want to tell everyone. Because maybe they could just mourn for me and I won't have to feel it. Maybe this is a nightmare I'll wake up from tomorrow.
I know that we live in a broken world and broken things happen. And the Lord loves me. And He loves Hank. And I don't want anyone to tell me there's a reason for this because sometimes bad things are just bad things that coexist with good things. And that's okay. And I'm mad and I'm sad and I'm very very confused."
We cannot even imagine what this mama and her family are going through, and we want to send all the love their way.
We, as mothers, read this and instinctively start to panic about the possibility of something like this happening to our own children, especially considering that choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death in children under 5 years old. And according to the AAP, food accounts for over 50% of all choking incidents in children.
To prevent them, the AAP recommends cutting food in pieces no larger than one-half inch, encourage children to chew well before trying to swallow, keep close attention on all children while they eat and avoid foods like hot dogs, uncut grapes, popcorn or large raw vegetables. They also recommend not allowing children to walk, run or lie down with food in their mouths as this can cause choking.
This story was originally published on September 20, 2019