Choking Hazards for children 

I keep seeing all these various posts flying around Facebook at the moment about not letting your children eat certain foods because another child has choked on them and they are suddenly now deemed a complete danger to children.

Now, as a policy. On the Millie’s Trust page, we refuse to share anything that has not been officially recalled because if one of these posts just happened not to be true, it could potentially ruin the business of whatever product it was.

So, after seeing a few of these flying around social media this week, I decided to do a little experiment whilst I was doing my weekly shop today (much to Leo’s dismay having to spend 15 minutes back and forth on the sweet aisle). 

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I wanted to have a look at what confectionary products actually came with a choking warning on them because as you all know, certain sweets etc can be a certain type and shape and this may cause an obstruction much more easily. 

So my experiment went like this.

I picked up random sweets on the aisle that I considered to be a choking hazard to a child under the age of 3.

I’m sad to say that in those 15 minutes, I only actually found 4 items that had a hazardous notice on the back of them. Here is a photo below .. I haven’t used the brand names on here as it’s not fair on the manufacturers, some of them could be own supermarket brands and some of them could be nationally well known brands. 


Here are some of the hazard warnings and honestly, it really impressed me that the manufacturers had decided to put these warnings on.

Did you know that the small chocolate eggs had a warning for children under the age of 4? 


There is a reason for these warnings. It is to stop adults giving them to children when they are small. Be it because the actual sweet could cause a full blockage or the toy parts with the chocolate could be a choking hazard (see photo below)


The fact is, is that the manufacturer has put a warning on these products but I still see children under these ages time and time again being given these products, having their lives put at risk by the person who has given it to them because there is a clear warning on the packaging and they have chosen to ignore it. 

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Why? Why on earth would you give in and give a 2 year old a chocolate egg not meant for children under the age of 4.

I was actually shocked that I couldn’t find a marshmallow packet or a hard boiled sweet packet with a choking hazard warning on them – because these products due to the consistency and/or shape are up there on the high risk, just like grapes and sausages that haven’t been cut in the correct way before being given to children.

Then we have the other extreme though, check out the photo below, how many of these products have you happily given your 1 year old child? Don’t worry, it’s fine to do so. So don’t feel guilty when you look at the photo…


My point is, is that everything is a choking hazard to children. Just remember, our daughter choked on mash and passed away and she was an extremely competent eater. We were utterly shocked when we were told it was mash (I can’t stand writing/saying/hearing this word) that Millie had choked on as we had originally been told she had been eating Shepherd’s Pie, we were expecting to be told that she had choked on a piece of meat, but no, it was the mash from the meal. 

Grapes, sausages, toast, fruit, bacon etc etc etc 

A lot of the time, it’s not about the product. It’s about the preparation of the food, it’s about you spending the time to sit with your child and be there with them whilst they eat their meal. 

  • The emails can wait
  • The phone calls can wait 
  • The hoovering can wait
  • The doorbell can wait
  • The texts can wait 

Focus on your child. It is THAT SIMPLE.

  • Prepare food correctly
  • Cut it to the correct size
  • Cut it in the correct manner

Two of my biggest gripes. Now, some of you are going to hate me for saying this, some of you are going to be sat there saying “What is she going on about? I do that!” Maybe you won’t after reading a little further … my gripes are 

  • Giving children food in a forward facing pushchair 
  • Giving children food in the back of a car when there is no adult in the back seat with them. 

Think about this for a second. 

If your child went quiet in pushchair after eating some fruit for example, that you had given them, would your first thought be “they’re choking” … I am pretty confident that most of you would just think that they had fallen asleep… by the time you realise, it’s too late. 

And all because you wanted to keep them quiet for 5 minutes and food would be a distraction. 

When someone is choking and silent – it’s a full blockage, the worst kind. They need help. NOW.

Just as a side note here, Leo had a tantrum whilst in the supermarket today because I wouldn’t let him eat a cake whilst pushing him in the trolley. He literally screamed blue murder for 3 or 4 aisles in the supermarket, maybe less than 10 mins … did it bother me? No. Why? Because I wasn’t going to give in and let him eat something whilst I was distracted shopping. He could wait. He eventually got bored of screaming and started to point everything out in the supermarket. I could see the sympathy from other parents about my screaming child, which was great! These parents had all been there with a screaming child, it’s fine. It will be over soon, don’t give in. I didn’t, he didn’t get the cake. He got it, when we got home for after his dinner. 

Now let’s use the exact same theory in a car;

How long would it take you to pull over on the hard shoulder in moving traffic once you realise that your child was choking? Probably longer than the time needed for the damage already to be done. 

Many people are surprised to hear that Dan and I think like this after losing Millie. The fact is, is that anyone can choke on anything.

Preparation is key.

Take the time out not to rush food.

Learn what to do if the worst was to happen.

I hope that many of you reading this will now consider reading the back of food products before you give them to your small children. There’s nothing stopping you giving them to them but consider cutting them up, just like you would a grape. Consider whether the consistency of the product (particularly sticky) is appropriate for the age of your child. Consider the toy product that might come in a gift set with an Easter Egg.

It’s about thinking. It’s about common sense. It’s about prioritising.

To have a look for a family first aid course in your area, click here to visit Millie’s Trust, click here . If you can’t find one in your area, click here to let us know where you would like Millie’s Trust to visit.

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Thou must teach, but not laugh.

Leo has become such a character recently and trying to teach him right from wrong, I am actually finding quite hilarious. 

Of course, I want our boy to be well behaved, have manners and know what no means and what the repercussions of ignoring us or throwing a toy across the room when he is angry at us are (for one of a million toddler reasons) 😂. 

In the past week, we have taken the bars off Leo’s cot, so he’s now just in the bed part of the cotbed. To be honest, he’s been ready for it since we moved in December but we were decorating his bedroom, so it was far safer to keep him behind bars. 

We bought the obligatory bed guards but thought we would try him without and he’s actually doing that well that we have taken them back – the cot bed is extremely low to the floor and touchwood, he hasn’t fell out yet. He’s not much of a sleep wriggler any more now, like he used to be. 

So, he’s doing really well in the evening, in fact a lot better than we first imagined after all the horror stories we had heard, but Leo is keeping to his 12 hour sleeps with no get ups, like we haven’t changed anything (I apologise now to all the parents reading this cursing us that our child is a great sleeper)

His afternoon naps, well – he’s always been funny with me with them. Daddy has a knack of getting Leo to sleep when it’s a daddy day, but mummy- most days, not a chance. I don’t mind though, I love the extra cuddles and I certainly don’t mind if he sleeps all night anyway. 

I did try one day this week though and it’s resulted in this hilarious video, I’m pretty sure that this was about the 37th time he dove head first into the bed when he heard me coming. I gave up because I couldn’t stop giggling.

How do you tell a toddler off that makes you laugh so much? Seriously though, I will work on it! 

We don’t go to a lot of classes to be honest as I love spending time on my own with Leo but he has been going to Messy Monkeys for over a year now because he loves it and I chose it because I needed something to help me get over my anxieties of Leo picking things up and putting them in his mouth or chewing on them. Jo, the lady who runs this class has been fabulous for me and she really helped me out when she knew I was anxious about certain things. 

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Messy Monkeys was really fun this week, it made me laugh because a year ago today, we did the pancake class and Leo carried a lemon around the whole class, this time he brought his own little football and carried that around. Little big man has grown so much in the last year, the photo below is him this week playing with the amazing purple sand and the one below that shows the lemons last year. He also managed to drench lots of the mums this morning by stamping in the tubs of water and if any of the mums are reading this – I’m glad he made you laugh! (Don’t worry the mums and dad who’s go to this class expect to leave a little messy and/or wet) 



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If you have a place in the Manchester 10k or Half Marathon in May, or are thinking of doing it –  please think about choosing to run it for Millie’s Trust. We also have a couple of half marathon places left if you would like to run it for us. Drop us a message here if you’ve already got a place or would like one x 

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I’d just like to say a huge thank you to MUMSNET this week who have featured #Milliesmark as a guest campaign on their website this week – click here to view.

To read Millie Does It Again, click here   


 

Millie does it again. 

Dan and I receive a lot of messages on a daily basis and we genuinely do try and respond to anything that is directed personally to us … this message that we received recently had me crying on my sofa at home when I read it. 

Our little girl Millie, (in the pic below,  really is an angel saving lives) 


Messages like this really hit us hard and truly emphasise the original reasons why we set up Millie’s Trust after we lost our precious daughter. 

I don’t have much more to say because I think this mum’s message from Dublin says it all…

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 💕💕💕 This little girl also turned one yesterday … something our daughter never got to do 💕💕💕 

(Message is from early December) 

“This is long…. please bare with me.

I did a Millie’s Trust Paediatric First Aid course on 21st Nov 2016

Last night, was the worst of my life. But thanks to Millie’s Trust Paediatric First Aid, My night had a happy ending. My 10 month old baby girl, my princess, my world. Stopped breathing after choking on her food. She’s been unwell with a croup for a few days now and a little off her food. The only thing she’s been eating is sloppy breakfast cereal. In the middle of her tea last night she coughed. I saw the food come up in her mouth and braced myself for the reflux of food coming my way (as she has done a few times over the last few days) But that didn’t happen. I wish it did. I saw the food almost vacuum back into her mouth. I expected her to swallow, but she didn’t. He mouth stayed open and she started to gag. I though she was going to be sick. But she didn’t. There was nothing. It was like a silent movie in slow motion. Nothing happened, then she started to go blue. I lifted her from her high chair and put her down my knee with her head in my hand and started smacking her back. Nothing. I turned her over and thrust her sternum (sp?) Once. And once was what it took. Up came the food and she started to vomit. She was gasping for air and coughing. Every cough seemed to make it worse and she couldn’t catch her breath. I called 999 for help, i didnt know if it was all up or uf she needed more help. God love the poor responder who couldn’t get my address because of my acccent and the crying coming from me. Katie laid in my arms for a while whilst the responder monitored her breaths with me. Making sure the blockage was all gone. The fire brigade and paramedics arrived and took her from my arms and gave her the once over while I fell apart crying. The rest was a bit calmer while they checked her airways and made sure she was OK. (She’s was wheezy, but calm. A bit too calm, I wanted her to be kicking and screaming, but she just seemed still) they took her to the hospital to check her over, xrays and observations regularly, to make sure nothing had aspirated into her lungs, and make sure that I hadn’t trapped any air there with my check compression. Thankfully at 1am they released us. She is non the wiser from her ordeal. Mummy & Daddy are wrecks.  But we’re thankful for the knowledge I was given, and pray to God that I never have to use it again. Dr said I saved her life. But I don’t feel good. I just feel sick. I feel completely sick. I urge anyone, with a child / baby of any age. Get a Paediatric First Aid course. Today, tomorrow. Asap. You never know when you or someone you love might need it. I know I sound like an advert. But I don’t even want to think about “what if” 

Please all hug your children a little tighter as I will be doing!! “

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This was the original review following this lady taking part in our course in Dublin in November.

“Completed a paediatric First Aid course today with Millie’s Trust It was a very detailed course with plenty of explanation, not only on the how, but ‘why’ the First Aid is done the way it is. We were a small group, but that made it more informal and we could relax and enjoy the experience. I hope I never have to use it, but it’s good to know that I have it under my belt with the knowledge that I could help someone. Dan & Joanne are Hero’s. To go through what they have and still have the power to motivate others to educate, they will change the world. And probably saving hundreds of people/children in the process. Will be buying my 1st aid box as it made me realise today how little I have stocked. “

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We would also like to say a huge thank you to The Bridge 1859 in Dublin who donated the venue for this course … without their generous donation of a room this lady might not have been able to attend a course at the time she did and the outcome could have been much different. 

If you are a business who could donate a room for the day to allow Millie’s Trust to run a course at your venue, please get in touch 

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READ MORE ABOUT MILLIE’S MARK

Why apply for Millie’s Mark…

Our daughter Millie’s legacy is an amazing thing and we are so proud of Millie’s Mark and what it means to parents. 

We are very thankful to every single person that signed our petition and played a part in making this happen. 

Now is the time to ask YOUR NURSERY to apply.
Today has been the first official panel for Millie’s Mark (after the first 10 awarded in the pilot scheme) and we will soon be able to announce the first nurseries of 2017 that have been awarded. Exciting times 

To hear about why the nursery or pre school that your children go to or that you work in should apply for Millie’s Mark, click here 


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Happy 5th Birthday Millie x 

Text MILL05 £3 to 70070 to support Millie’s Trust on her 5th Birthday xxx


There’s no birthday bouncing on our bed,

Or precious kisses for your head,

No gorgeous smiles or happy laughter, 

Or sausage rolls and cake for after.

I’d love to get to see your smile,

And watch you laugh for just a while.

I’d love to have a fleeting moment,

To think of you and not feel broken. 

Five today, that’s what you’d be,

We’ll celebrate one day, you wait and see.

With bright balloons and and chocolate cake,

You’ll love it all, just you wait. 

Love Mummy xxx

Today is our darling daughter’s 5th Birthday, we’ve been down to her sleeping place and made it as beautiful as can be in this weather; lots of bright flowers and gorgeous balloons. We love these balloons and just a tip, the bubble type ones last ages outside even in the bad weather!

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Millie’s birthday is always one of the hardest days of the year for us and it’s the last day in a period of really rough months for us and we feel like a weight has been lifted for a few months. 

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Leo of course, has joined in with Millie’s birthday today and enjoyed playing with his own special balloon from Millie. 


Give your kiddies an extra special kiss tonight on what should be Millie’s birthday xxx

TEXT MILL05 £3 to 70070 to support Millie’s Trust on Millie’s birthday xxx

Millie’s wonderful balloons are from B for Balloons in Stockport – if you want one of the ones that last well outside, ask for a Bubble Balloon.


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Balloons by B for Balloons in Stockport – click here for their Facebook page 

Please note: I do not receive payment for any mentions, I only recommend on personal experience and Millie’s Trust merchandise. 

It’s nearly birthday time. 

You cannot imagine how it feels to know that the only thing you can buy your 5 year old daughter for her birthday is flowers … heartbreaking doesn’t even cover it. 

Getting ready for laying them at Millie’s resting place tomorrow for her birthday x 


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Well done Corrie! 

This week I am hearing lots about the storyline involving Steve & Michelle in Coronation Street and their miscarriage. 

Everything I have heard so far has been nothing but praise but due to my own recent miscarriage at the end of November and the fact that it should be my  darling daughter Millie’s 5th birthday tomorrow, I am not in the right frame of mind to watch… but I will. 

I will ensure that I watch the scenes at some point as I do like to see how the media handles and potrays sensitive issues such as these and I think that it is fabulous that they are covering this storyline. Utter respect for Kym Marsh this week as it must have brought some awful memories back for her after her own personal loss many years ago. 

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I really do hope that the media does continue to show these storylines and deal with these taboo issues, because that’s what they are , taboo.

Simon Gregson has already endured the storyline with his depression which he portrayed so well and to tackle another taboo issue so soon after that, well, what a star and he has also spoken out about his own personal pregnancy loss too which I think is amazing for a man to do too. 

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Unfortunately, I know exactly how it feels to have experience of all these issues, child loss, miscarriage and mental health problems and this is why I will carry on talking, carry on making a stand and carry on writing about it. 

Huge hugs to anyone out there who has their own personal experience of baby/child loss.

To read my recent miscarriage diary, click here.

To read one of my mental health blog, click here