Parents of young children know that dangers lurk all around us. Seemingly harmless things can cause unexpected injury, especially for kids, who love to put things in their mouths. As one x-ray demonstrates, even a grape can lead to some serious problems.

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One mom recently allowed this x-ray image of her son to be shared on social media. The shocking x-ray clearly shows a grape lodged in the boy’s throat. The 5-year-old had to undergo emergency surgery in order to dislodge that obstruction from his airway. Fortunately, the passage wasn’t completely blocked so the child was able to breathe.

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Had the airway been completely blocked, this story would have turned out much, much worse. It takes only five minutes without oxygen for a person to sustain permanent brain damage. For this lucky child, there was just enough space in his throat to allow some oxygen to get through.

Grapes and other small items can present a choking hazard for children, but there are many other hidden dangers in a home. If a parent is not careful, their child could be injured by a threat the parent didn’t even realize existed.

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One example of this is cords found on window blinds. Children love to play with these cords, pulling the blinds up and down. Although there doesn’t at first appear to be anything wrong with that, serious problems can ensue if a child is left unsupervised.

Children can inadvertently hang themselves with these cords. This type of death is more common than many people realize. Approximately one child is strangled by these cords each month.

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Another hidden danger is plants in the home. Since children naturally put things in their mouths, they may ingest certain plants that are actually toxic to humans. Some common toxic houseplants are dumb cane (dieffenbachia) and caladium, to name just two. If you have plants in the home, be sure to check if they are potentially harmful to children.

Getting back to the grape: Doctors recommend certain practices to prevent choking. The first tip is to cut foods into very small pieces for the child. Even things like grapes, which seem small, are too big for a child to eat. 

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Another tip is to have a child always eat sitting upright at a table. If a child is running around while eating, they are substantially more likely to choke than if they are eating at a table. Children also face a higher choking risk in the car. Food should only be consumed at a table.

The final tip is to make sure children are always supervised when they eat. We’ll share this alarming information again because it’s so important to keep in mind: It only takes five minutes for a person to suffer permanent brain damage if oxygen is cut off from the brain. If an adult is always supervising the child, they can immediately step in to help if something gets lodged in the child’s throat.

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The x-ray image of the little boy’s throat should give us all pause. Parents must be ever vigilant in protecting their children, otherwise tragic accidents can happen. Even something as small as a grape can result in enormous problems.