Michigan toddler chokes to death on grapes, grapes pose choking risk to young children

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DETROIT, Mich. (WILX)- A Detroit Toddler is dead after choking on grapes at the grocery store. According to Detroit media reports, 2-year old Ayyan Umar was in the shopping cart when he grabbed two grapes while his mother's back was turned.

Ayyan's mother Emma Carver, had no idea her son was trying to eat any of the grapes she had in her cart. She heard choking sounds and hit her son's back in an effort to get the grapes out. A shopper called 911, while another tried CPR on the boy. When emergency responders arrived minutes later, they were able to get one grape out, but it was too late. Ayyan was dead. The second grape was removed from his throat at the hospital.

Doctors warn many parents are not aware of the risks grapes pose to young children. A study shows food is to blame for more than half of choking deaths of children under age five. The top three foods that pose a choking risk for kids are hot dogs, candy, and whole grapes.

“There is general awareness of the need to supervise young children when they are eating... but knowledge of the dangers posed by grapes and other similar foods is not widespread,” according to Dr. Jamie Cooper who works at Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital in Scotland. Grapes are larger than a child's airway and doctors say a grape can plug a child's airway choking them.

Medical experts say while there are warnings put on toys that may pose a choking risk, there are no warnings on foods like grapes. Health officials say parents should cut up grapes into quarters before giving them to small children. Adults should also monitor children while they are eating the fruit.