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Old 08-20-2012, 02:01 PM   #1
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DS keeps choking & I'm scared and frustrated.

DS is just a handful of days shy of 2.5 years old. In the last few months, he has choked on his food quite a few times. Two of those times have been super serious.

The first time was a couple of months ago. We went away for the weekend. We got to our destination late in the evening. We stopped for burgers and took them to our hotel. We were all starving. Before DH could stop him, DS crammed the entire top of one of the hamburger buns in his mouth. He had already had a mouthful before that. We think that the first bite got lodged in his throat when he crammed the bun in his mouth. He looked up at DH with sheer panic on his face. He wasn't coughing or anything. It was very clear that no air was getting through. We were able to get the bun out of his mouth but he still wasn't breathing. We've both had lots of first aid and we tried everything we knew to do to clear his airway without success. I've never been scared in my life. DH called 911. While he was on the phone with the operator, DS suddenly swallowed. I don't know what caused him to finally swallow, but I thank God that he did. I am certain he would have died if he had to wait for help to arrive. It was at least 10 minutes before anyone got to our hotel room.

There have been a few incidents between then and now. They weren't scary though. He choked on food, but not to the point where he wasn't getting air through - lots of coughing though.

Then last night happened. I gave him a corndog. He's had them several times before. He's never had a problem with them before. He was in his high chair in the kitchen. I was in the kitchen making dinner for DH and myself. I looked over right after giving it to him and realized that way too much of it was gone for the amount of time he had been eating it. Then I looked at his face. He was full out choking again. He had bitten nearly half of it off in one bite. He bit it off just right so that it was perfectly crammed all the way against the back of this throat and up against the back of his front teeth. I really struggled to get it out. It did come out though. DH then finger swept the back of his throat. We didn't have to call for help this time, but it was just as serious as the first time. He could have died had I not been there to intervene in time.

I'm shaken up. I'm not sure what to do. He's old enough to understand (sort of) what happened. The first time, he told everyone he came in contact with for weeks to follow that the burger hurt his mouth. Last night he told us that his mouth was hurting after it happened. He has been very scared and upset both times. He knows that he supposed to take little bites.

Obviously we know that we need to be cutting EVERYTHING up. We can't trust him to take bites on his own no matter what kind of food it is. We also obviously have to be right next to him every time he eats anything. Still, he often crams too many bite-sized pieces into his mouth at a time. I'm terrified he's going to choke and die. At what point do we need to just puree everything?

Should we take him to a doctor? It's not normal for a kid to choke this many times. I'm so frustrated.

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Old 08-20-2012, 02:06 PM   #2
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I would give only a bite or two at a time in the small bite sized pieces. Make sure he chews and swallow before you give another bite. That must have been so scary!
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by carolineb
I would give only a bite or two at a time in the small bite sized pieces. Make sure he chews and swallow before you give another bite. That must have been so scary!
That's what I would do. You don't want to have to purée everything if you don't have to. I would bring it up with the dr. too. They have food therapy that can help if he needs it.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:16 PM   #4
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I'd cut everything up, then only give him a piece or two at a time, and definitely emphasize/demonstrate chewing each bite before swallowing.

Also, is he shoving food in so fast because he's really hungry? Maybe more snacks between meals would keep his hunger level more manageable?
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:43 PM   #5
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Re: DS keeps choking & I'm scared and frustrated.

My 2.5 year old is a food stuffer. She has sensory issues and cramming food gives her oral input (not saying your ds does that, but if he has other sensory issues it could be).

We work with a speech and feeding therapist. We cut all her food and give her two small bites, then give her two more. She cannot handle a plate in front of her.

I would see the doctor to make sure there are no swallowing issues. It is so scary. We have had it happen many times, and the only solution is sitting with the child while they eat and giving one or two bites at a time.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:39 PM   #6
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My 22 month old has been doing this once and a while since he started solids. He stuffs food in, chokes, and throws up. It's very scary. However, sometimes even a tiny piece of apple or something very small makes him gag. I am going to call on for him for a speech evaluation and discuss these eating issues.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:44 PM   #7
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Re: DS keeps choking & I'm scared and frustrated.

I would talk to your pediatrician, and ask for a swallow study. They can do a video x-ray of him swallowing to see if there are issues in the way he swallows. They are super cool! DS has had about 10 due to his issues.
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:55 AM   #8
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Re: DS keeps choking & I'm scared and frustrated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carolineb View Post
I would give only a bite or two at a time in the small bite sized pieces. Make sure he chews and swallow before you give another bite. That must have been so scary!
I am completely agree with you. Because there is no option with out this. Really this is the most difficult task to do.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:23 AM   #9
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Re: DS keeps choking & I'm scared and frustrated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmelody View Post
My 2.5 year old is a food stuffer. She has sensory issues and cramming food gives her oral input (not saying your ds does that, but if he has other sensory issues it could be).

We work with a speech and feeding therapist. We cut all her food and give her two small bites, then give her two more. She cannot handle a plate in front of her.

I would see the doctor to make sure there are no swallowing issues. It is so scary. We have had it happen many times, and the only solution is sitting with the child while they eat and giving one or two bites at a time.
I agree with this. Pureed food is not really a life-long option.

My cousin is 8 years old and his Dad still has to cut up and limit his food to keep him from choking. He goes to private school and they only give him soups and smooth textures (yogurt, pudding, jello) for lunch and still have a table monitor right beside him.

Please see a doctor or have your son evaluated. His choking sounds so scary!

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Old 08-21-2012, 12:58 PM   #10
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Re: DS keeps choking & I'm scared and frustrated.

Oh mama, that sounds so scary! My DD, also 2.5, did this for MONTHS. She would cram her mouth full then spend like 5-10 minutes slowly chewing. We had to limit the amount that was on her plate, and luckily she never had major choking issues just gagging. I would also tell her "we take a little bite of our food, chew it all up and swallow, then take another bite" and show her. She eventually grew out of it.
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