It goes without saying that it must have been horrendous for Nevaeh’s parents to have to stand there helpless as they watched her choking on a french frie. But at the same time there is a lot that all parents can take away from this story to ensure they don’t have to go through the same ordeal.
I think there are a number of lessons to be learnt from the story of 14-month-old Nevaeh who almost choked to death on a french frie in a McDonald’s fast food restaurant in Sydney.
Before we get into the lecture part of this article though, of course it has to be said that it must have been beyond terrifying for the parents of little Nevaeh to have to stand by helpless as their precious daughter started to go blue in the face.
And there is also the good news element of this story of how McDonald’s staff, and even some customers, rushed to the little girl’s aid to save her.
To backtrack, what basically happened was Nevaeh and her family were sat in the McDonald’s restaurant tucking into some food when Nevaeh choked on a french frie. Her parents were unable to do anything to help her and so rushed her over to the McDonald’s counter where they cried out for staff to help their daughter.
Nevaeh then spent three minutes face down on the counter as staff, and customers – including one who had been in the queue for the drive-through – rubbed her back – hoping to get the chip back up.
Meanwhile, Nevaeh had turned blue, and at one point, a staff member is seen to lean down and listen to Nevaeh’s chest to see if she is still breathing. Her parents are in the background crying helplessly.
Luckily, Nevaeh is saved as the chip dislodges and she can breath again. She was taken to hospital and kept in overnight for observation but fully recovered.
So for the lessons to be learnt aspect. My initial thought when I saw this story, and I know it’s going to be a controversial one for some parents, was why was a 14-month-old baby being fed McDonald’s in the first place? I know these days there is a whole movement towards ensuring once your baby is weaned onto solids they move onto family food as soon as possible but I really feel McDonald’s is not going to be very nutritious for such a little girl. I certainly wouldn’t dream of feeding my daughter such food. She is 16-months-old and she hasn’t even had a home cooked chip yet.
But then this issue really does pale into insignificance when we consider how close to death Nevaeh came from eating the french frie. The obvious point is that all parents should learn first aid so they can deal with these events, even if it is just to read up on the internet what they should do. I hold my hands up and say I’m just as guilty in not being fully informed on what to do if my daughter choked.
But the other thing is, I feel parents need to be wary of what food they are giving their children. Not just in terms of its health benefits, as mentioned, but whether their child is going to be able to cope with its consistency and be able to chew it effectively. At 14-months-old babies still do not have a full set of teeth so if it is a food which is not going to easily dissolve in their mouths, parents do need to keep a very close eye on their baby whilst they eat it. Let’s hope parents are more mindful about this issue after reading this story in the newspapers.
Published in: Family