Family & Parenting

Two-Year-Old Chokes On Popcorn, Family Warns Of Danger

This family wants to make sure no more children are lost to choking.

Mirranda Grace Lawson was a happy, healthy two-year-old girl.  On May 11, she and her family spent the day celebrating mom Alison’s birthday, unaware that time well-spent with her family would come to an abrupt end. Later that afternoon, Mirranda would choke on a piece of popcorn, and life would never be the same.

GoFundMe page, set up to help the family, explains in horrific detail the events that would change everything.

“At the end of Alison’s birthday, Mirranda ran into the living room. Eyes huge, no sound. Time stopped. Those were the last moments they shared before Mirranda fell to the ground; they swept her mouth, nothing; Pat (her dad) started CPR.  The ambulance got there, Mirranda’s heart stopped.”

Mirranda’s heart eventually started beating, but the little girl would battle for several months on a ventilator before tragically her kidneys failed, ending her too short life on Nov. 1. The cause of the incident: popcorn.

As a result, Mirranda’s family wants to make sure other parents and caretakers know the dangers of choking associated with popcorn and other high-risk foods. In doing so, they hope no other child suffers from the same tragic accident.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, choking is the leading cause of injury and death in children under 3. As such, they recommend toddlers avoid certain high-risk foods, which include popcorn, nuts, grapes and hard candy.

In addition, Healthy Child Care America, a program of the AAP, put together a list of suggestions to further reduce risk. Some of their recommendations include:

  • Children should be seated when eating.
  • Keep your eyes on your child while eating. A choking child may not make any noise.
  • Cut food into tiny pieces, playing close attention to foods like hot dogs.
  • Cook vegetables so they are softer and easier to chew.
  • Offer plenty of liquids when eating.

For a complete list of suggestions to help minimize choking risk, visit their website, and share with family and friends.