2 year-old dies after eating ordinary food. Mom wants to warn other parents

Losing a child is about the worst thing anyone can experience. About the last place you’d expect such an awful tragedy to occur is at the grocery store. For Emma Carver and Mohammed Umar of Detroit, an ordinary trip to the store turned into any parent’s worst nightmare.

Emma was at the grocery store with their 2 year-old son Ayyan sitting in the cart’s child seat. She turned her back for just a minute to have a look at some cheese. When she turned again to check on her little boy, his face was blue and he was making loud choking noises. Emma didn’t know first aid or even the Heimlich maneuver, so she repeatedly banged Ayyan on the back hoping to dislodge whatever was in his throat. Meanwhile, another customer called 911 and then someone else who knew CPR came over and tried to save the boy.

The paramedics were on the scene about 7 minutes after the 911 call. They managed to get one object out of Ayyan’s throat: a grape. But it was too late, the boy was already dead. Later on, at the hospital, a doctor removed a second grape. A common food that’s actually good for you had taken the life of the toddler.

Ayyan’s parents were devastated. As a tearful Mohammed said, “I feel like it’s just a bad dream and somebody’s going to wake me up. He sleeps on my chest, I see him everywhere.” They want to get the word out to other parents: seemingly harmless grapes can be deadly for small children. It’s also a reminder about how important it is for people to know basic first aid. We’ve posted a local television news station’s coverage of this tragedy below.

Keep whole grapes away from children who are under four — they can have grapes, just be sure they’re cut in half lengthwise. We’d love to hear your thoughts about this story in the comments at Facebook. Be sure to like and share: the more people are aware of choking hazards and what to do when someone is choking, the better!