To avoid giving children sugary sweets or potato chips, many parents resort to the timeless classic: popcorn. As harmless as popcorn seems, this mother learned firsthand how dangerous popcorn can be for small children. If you have kids at home, make sure to keep reading because this information could save your little one’s life.Popcorn is not only a delicious way to enjoy a movie, but it also has plenty of fiber in it, which is why many parents choose to give their little ones popcorn. Nicole and Jake Goddard from Colorado sat down one night with their children to watch Robin William’s hilarious movie, Mrs. Doubtfire. And, of course, a movie night with the family isn’t complete without munching on the buttery goodness that is popcorn.
While their youngest child, Nash, was enjoying the popcorn, he began to cough suddenly. Just before Jake was going to get up to give the young boy the Heimlich maneuver, he stopped coughing and began to breathe normally again. Jake and Nicole assumed that Nash had swallowed the kernel that he was choking on, but they could not have been more wrong.
In her Facebook post, Nicole explained that once Nash stopped coughing, he immediately started watching the movie again. “He seemed completely fine and continued to watch the movie. The only thing we observed was a cough he developed after the episode,” she wrote. The family had been battling a cold, so Nicole just assumed that Nash was coming down with something, as well.
After the movie, Nash went to bed as normal, but the next morning he didn’t seem to be feeling well. “Monday came and [in the evening] I noticed Nash felt warm and he was super fussy. He had a fever so I gave him Motrin and put him to bed.” Nicole then laid down next to her son, but she noticed that his breathing was “labored,” so she immediately called Nash’s pediatrician.
When she explained what was going on to the pediatrician, Nicole was instructed to bring Nash to the hospital “ASAP.” While they were at the hospital, doctors performed an x-ray and a bronchoscopy. When the doctors examined the x-rays, they found something that shocked Nicole and Jake.
Something unbelievable had happened while Nash was eating the popcorn with his family. “The doctors found six pieces of popcorn embedded in Nash’s lungs,” said Nicole. Unfortunately, while Nash was coughing on the popcorn, the pieces of food were lodging into his lungs.
Due to his body not recognizing the foreign substance, it developed pus pockets around the popcorn. Nash’s lungs became inflamed and infected. The infection quickly turned into pneumonia. Nicole wrote on Facebook, “During the procedure, the doctor got out 6 pieces. There was so much inflammation so the dr wasn’t 100% he got it all so scheduled him to be admitted and repeat the procedure in 2 days.”
She continued, “The second procedure was done and once again poor guy had to be put under and rolled off to surgery. The doctor met us when it was over and said the procedure was successful and he got the last piece out. Nash was a rockstar and recovered well. He had to go one hour on room air oxygen without his 02 dropping under 90. He passed and we were discharged that evening. If I wouldn’t have trusted my instinct and brought him in, the outcome wouldn’t have been good.”
Fortunately, everything worked out just fine for little Nash because he was brought to the hospital in time. As you can imagine, Nash’s parents were extremely worried. “I paced and cried the entire time my little man was in surgery. It was an up and down roller coaster,” said Nicole.
“I hate to use the excuse he’s our third child, so I overlook and don’t pay as close attention to the do’s and don’ts as we did with our first,” she explained. “I wanted to share our experience because as I’ve shared the story so many people were shocked and unaware of the bad effect popcorn can have on a toddler.”
Even though they had a scare of a lifetime, Nicole seems to be grateful for the lesson.“We’re so thankful our little man came out ok. All of this over popcorn which is eaten on a regular basis in our home,” she said. Nicole, who referred to the experience as an “eye-opener,” wanted to raise awareness for other parents.
Parenting isn’t easy, and you always want to make sure that you’re making the right decisions for your children. “Always trust your gut because it’s right!” said Nicole. And we agree with her! Let this serve as a reminder the next time you’re in the middle of a family movie night with your little ones!