What These Parents Want You to Know After Their Toddler Choked to Death on Grapes

child chokes to death on grapes
Emma Umar/Facebook

Emma Carver and her toddler were grocery shopping when the Detroit mom heard a sound no parent wants to hear. After she turned to pick out a block of cheese, her 2-year-old son, Ayyan, quickly grabbed two grapes to snack on and began violently gasping for air.


"I even threw the cheese down and I started banging on him," Emma told WXYZ, while describing how she struck her child's back in an attempt to dislodge the stuck grapes. "But it wasn't getting it out, so it had to be lodged." 

As the frantic mom attempted to save her struggling child, fellow shoppers called 911 and started CPR. In the six minutes it took emergency medical services to arrive, the toddler tragically passed away, and now his devastated parents want others to realize just how easily this could happen to anyone.

"I was feeling like maybe it was a bad dream," Ayyan's dad, Mohammad Umar, told WXYZ. "I see him everywhere."

More from CafeMom: This Terrifying X-Ray of a Choking Child Is a Wake-Up Call for Parents

Toddler boy sitting down
Emma Umar / Facebook

It only took a moment of parental distraction for this toddler to be able to sneak a potentially dangerous food. Now, Emma hopes that other parents will join her in signing up for first aid classes in order to always keep pediatric CPR skills fresh in their minds.

This isn't the first family trying to raise awareness after a toddler unexpectedly choked on a grape. Recently, another mom shared a terrifying X-ray of a grape lodged in her 5-year-old child's throat to show just how dangerous grapes can be if they aren't cut properly. Luckily, this child from Australia survived after an operation to remove the fruit, but his mom's Facebook plea resonated with parents everywhere: "When in doubt, just cut the damn grapes, baby tomatoes, etc."

X-ray of child choking on a grape
Finlee and Me/Facebook

According the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under 4 years old can easily choke on hot dogs, nuts, grapes, balloons, buttons, dog food, chunks of cheese or meat, and popcorn. The American Red Cross offers a variety of essential first-aid classes, and the simple skills can save a life when you least expect it.

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