While grocery shopping with her 2-year-old son, Ayyan Umaar, earlier in August, Emma Carver looked away for a minute to pick out some cheese.
Ayyan was sitting in his mother’s shopping cart, and managed to get himself into some fruit she’d placed in the basket.
All it took was two grapes before the terrifying sound of choking prompted Emma’s attention back to her cart. Those two grapes were lodged in Ayyan’s throat, blocking his airway.
“I started banging on him,” Emma told local news.
She tried everything she could to dislodge the object in his throat, but to no avail. A nearby shopper called 911 and another performed CPR on the little boy.
When EMS crews arrived, they were able to remove one grape, but the young boy died before they arrived at the hospital. The second grape was later removed.
Now Emma and her husband, Mohammad Umar, are urging parents to learn what they did not know.
“I was feeling like maybe it was a bad dream, like maybe somebody was gonna wake me up,” said Mohammad through tears. Unfortunately, it is too late for their son, but it is not too late to educate themselves further and encourage others to do the same.
They’ve signed up to learn infant CPR, and hope others will enroll in classes as well.
They want parents to educate themselves on the dangers of everyday foods for children.
According to the American Academy of pediatrics, choking is the leading cause of death in children under the age of three.
High risk foods include: grapes, hot dogs, popcorn, hard candy, nuts, seeds and raw carrots.
The AAP recommends taking precautions when feeding these foods to your children, like cutting grapes and hot dogs lengthwise and into quarters. This will change the food’s dangerous round shape into one that is less likely to block a small child’s throat.
Our prayers are with Emma and Mohammad, while they grieve the devastating loss of their son.