To ask when you are supposed to stop cutting up grapes

(172 Posts)
1Veryhungrycaterpillar Tue 18-Jun-13 22:55:35

V dumb question really but I still do this for my eldest (5) and my Dzh laughs at me, it's mainly because they are for packed lunch and I can't trust her not to rush her lunch at school

Susandeath Tue 18-Jun-13 23:03:43

I've just stopped for my Ds, who is 5. I always thought the age was 5. grin

OwlinaTree Tue 18-Jun-13 23:05:00

When your child graduates from university, they have the traditional grape grab, where each graduate grabs a grape from the great grape bowl placed at the exit.

This symbolises the new found freedom of whole grape eating. Many people commemorate this day by a) putting framed pictures of grape day on the wall of their lounge and b) drinking the juice of the grape.

Hope this helps wink

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Tue 18-Jun-13 23:06:03

When you can be sure they will crunch them as soon as they eat them. So I'd say cut them up longer for packed lunches than at home, where you can remind them.

OwlinaTree Tue 18-Jun-13 23:08:05

Yes they can be a choking hazard on a serious note. ifionly has good advice

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 18-Jun-13 23:08:42

Adults have choked (and died) on grapes. Cut them up for as long as you can (without either you losing your mind or them crying about being 'treat like a baby'). Tell your DH you are partial to your children alive.

givemeaboost Tue 18-Jun-13 23:09:07

I cant say ive EVER chopped up grapes for any of mine...they are still alivegrin

picnicbasketcase Tue 18-Jun-13 23:10:07

I think about five too

MegBusset Tue 18-Jun-13 23:10:58

I still cut them up for my 4yo and 6yo. It takes seconds and reduces the risk of them choking so can't see a reason to stop.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 18-Jun-13 23:12:02

I wouldn't even stop then for a school lunch tbh. It only take a child to laugh at what someone else is doing to choke on a grape and choking is silent - not the big drama they make out of it on the tele. That much drama and the person isn't actually choking...

While we are about it - do you know what an even worse hazzard is and one that most people allow small children to eat?? Marshmallows. If a child chokes on one of those you are very unlikely to be able to dislodge it sad I only found out about that recently and I find it a bit scary... and I'm normally pretty blase about pretty much everything!

givemeaboost Tue 18-Jun-13 23:12:10

I don't see that argument, ive known a kid to die chocking on a sasuage, should i therefor be cutting up everything that goes into their mouths until theyre adults?! if they learn from young(blw) they they learn to chew stuff from very early on-ime anyway.

LauraPashley Tue 18-Jun-13 23:13:00

I now only give dd (5) grapes at home, as she freaks out if we cut them, but I can't stand the thought of her eating whole ones unsupervised blush. A wee boy choked on one at an after school club recently and died- I always picture them running around/jumping about while eating etc. I make her sit down at the table with grapes!

nohalfmeasures Tue 18-Jun-13 23:13:14

My Ds2 swallowed one whole when he was 8 ("to see if he could") It got stuck halfway down his oesophagus and he had to retch it back up. It was very painful and gave him a real fright. he won't try that again.

I can't remember ever cutting up grapes, apart from when they were just starting with finger food & needed to get a better grip on them.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 18-Jun-13 23:13:25

givemeaboost - yes, they all are until they aren't. Pretty stupid logic there. Millions of people around the world travel in cars everyday - they are all still alive - except the ones that aren't.

I think it is at around age five that the trachea stops being a funnel shape and takes on the adult cylinder shape.

I always cut or at least slit DS(2)'s grapes, and cherry tomatoes if he hasn't stolen them out of the fridge himself and shoved them straight in his gob. I will not however be bothering to do so for the grapes at DS1's 5th birthday party this weekend.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 18-Jun-13 23:15:30

givemeaboost - no other food is really the same shape or size. Most other food has more texture or a shape which air can go around.

neunundneunzigluftballons Tue 18-Jun-13 23:15:46

Never chopped grapes power of hindsight I probably should have thank god yet another parenting bullet dodged.

WhatKatyDidToday Tue 18-Jun-13 23:16:03

Life is to short to cut grapes wink

givemeaboost Tue 18-Jun-13 23:16:16

why is that stupid logic chipping? when you chop up foods into small pieces where/what age does it stop?

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 18-Jun-13 23:19:53

Stupid logic was referring to your comment that your kids didn't die from choking on a grape therefore cutting up grapes is pointless. What about the children that have died? Don't they count? Should that not be a warning to others?

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 18-Jun-13 23:20:54

Grapes due to their shape/size/nature - no one is suggesting you cut up all their food into tiny bits, just one thing - grapes.

I cut up for DD who is two. Sometimes I give her a whole one if they are at a friend's house with no knife handy but stern, "bite" first and she does. I've been scaring myself with pop corn lately. I was letting her share if we had it. Now, I find it is horribly dangerous.

Morloth Wed 19-Jun-13 04:50:32

I just pop them.

Much faster than cutting and breaks the surface tension of the skin and changes the shape slightly.

And I teach them to pop their own grapes. My 9 year old always has done and this is how he thinks you eat grapes.

Problem solved.

HollyBerryBush Wed 19-Jun-13 06:13:41

Good grief. People cut up grapes?
My family have these amazing things called teeth.

WidowWadman Wed 19-Jun-13 06:15:25

I stopped cutting them up when I realised that they've been eating whole ones at nursery for ages...

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 19-Jun-13 07:16:27

Grapes are a perfect shape and size to get lodged in a child's airway.

SummersHere Wed 19-Jun-13 07:28:28

I still cut them in half for ds who's almost 5. No-one else I know does this though.
At a kids party last week the first thing I noticed was a huge bowl of uncut grapes, most of the children there were 1-3 years old, I'm afraid I took them away and cut them up!
Just an unnecessary risk imo.

Jinty64 Wed 19-Jun-13 07:30:28

Life is too short to cut grapes and for the children who have choked and died life was just too short.

I cut them, and cherry tomatoes and cut sausages lengthways for ds3 (6). I don't for ds's 1&2 (17 & 15) so I must have stopped sometime. A five year old near us choked and died on a grape. It's not worth the risk.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 07:33:00

Now that is interesting Horry. A 2 year old in a cafe near us recently died choking on a marshmallow, who knew.

Think I stopped around three yrs, but I am hardline about making them sit down while eating.

jamdonut Wed 19-Jun-13 07:42:07

The truth is you can choke on anything...raisins,breadcrumbs even a drink.
I think the biggest thing is to make children sit down whilst eating.

I think I stopped cutting grapes at about 4 years old.

ParadiseChick Wed 19-Jun-13 07:50:46

I'd just my eldest and a few weeks later my baby started eating. So I've had 6 years of cutting them in half now.

I'm pretty laid back about most things but grapes are the perfect size to get stuck. I remember cooking on a boiled sweet when I was a child. Scary.

Fairylea Wed 19-Jun-13 08:05:33

I'm surprised some people don't cut up grapes. It takes seconds and makes them so much safer.

As a mum of a child who very nearly died of choking I am perhaps understandably more vigilant than most but even so I can't understand not cutting up grapes etc. Sausages should also never be cut into round little circles as these can easily be a choking hazard too.

Tee2072 Wed 19-Jun-13 08:07:03

I did it for awhile but then decided it wasn't worth it.

My son eats sitting down, not dancing around, so there goes that argument.

Life is risk. You analyze your level of comfort with said risk and move on.

pigletmania Wed 19-Jun-13 08:21:17

I think about 6/7 when Chidren understand the risks more, and are more likely to chew.

loopyluna Wed 19-Jun-13 08:27:32

Blimey, another parenting fail of mine then. I never chopped grapes for any of mine (though I did tell them to chew!)
I sometimes still chop cherry toms for my 7 year old but only to avoid her dribbling tomato down her front.
I was more careful about marshmallows though.

As far as OP is concerned, if you ate going to stop at some point, surely 5 is old enough to be told to chew?!

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 08:29:12

I hope she doesn't dance around eating at school butbI know she loves to chat!

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Wed 19-Jun-13 08:31:40

I'm a failed parent here, never cut up a grape.

Choking on a grape is higher risk. They've got a round circumference and being smooth, would get stuck very easily. Why is that so hard to understand? hmm

My ds (3) knows he has to crunch the grapes and that he has to cut them up. However I like the popping idea someone mentioned up thread and will now introduce that idea!

bigkidsdidit Wed 19-Jun-13 08:38:23

A 3yo died near me a few years ago, when I'd just had DS, when he pinched a marshmallow off his mum's drink in a cafe. I am paranoid about grapes, marshmallows etc. I don't see why you wouldn't cut up, really, especially for toddlers.

I didn't know popcorn was a risk though?

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 08:40:10

loopyluna, thank god you told me that, All these years and I've never taught my child to chew!

Tee2072 Wed 19-Jun-13 08:40:33

It's not hard to understand, we aren't stupid. I, personally, think it's an acceptable risk.

flipchart Wed 19-Jun-13 08:40:36

It never occurred to me to cut grapes!
Saying that I don't remember getting them much when the boys were little.
It has only been recentlybwhen we started buying them.

pigletmania Wed 19-Jun-13 08:53:05

Really there has to be a cut off, anyone can chock on anything be it an adult or a child. When they are 5/6 tey are old enough to understand and should be able to chew their food

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 08:57:21

Check upthread, Horry says its at 5 when the trachea changes shape.

Tee2072 Wed 19-Jun-13 09:25:08

I can't find anything about the trachea changing shape.

it's the texture of the grapes skin which makes them particularly dangerous. It gets stuck in the throat and cannot be dislodged even with the Heimlich manoeuvre.

Ds1 is almost 7 but tends to gulp things so I still cut his, and ds2 as he doesn't have very good oral coordination (oral and verbal dyspraxia).

I haven't cut dds for years but she's a nibbler so I've never been too worried as the likelihood of her swallowing anything whole is remote.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 09:33:15

Just going by what was said upthread I'm afraid so shan't be providing proof

pigletmania Wed 19-Jun-13 09:39:57

I don't think I will be cutting up any grapes at 5/6 year old parties though

Yes it's the skin that makes them dangerous. Cannot BELIEVE the idiocy and arrogance of some people on here today. Last time there was a thread on this there were posters who were or knew paramedics who'd failed to dislodge grapes - it was harrowing.

TobyLerone Wed 19-Jun-13 09:46:45

DD is 12 and I yelled at her yesterday when I caught her throwing grapes in the air and catching them in her mouth. Lectured her on the choking hazard! I told her it's ok to do that with Smarties or peanuts, but not grapes.

hemel07 Wed 19-Jun-13 09:58:16


absentmindeddooooodles Wed 19-Jun-13 09:59:50

I feel like a terrible mother now.... Ds 2.3 has been eating whole grapes for ages!!

Don't have proof; was told it at a paediatric first aid course. They also said grapes account for some extraordinarily large proportion of choking incidents (far more than other fruit, for example).

Cheddars Wed 19-Jun-13 10:37:48

The danger ages are between 2-10yrs. Under 2yrs the trachea is too small for a grape to get stuck, and big enough by 10yrs.

Bumpotato Wed 19-Jun-13 11:02:44

I stopped with my Dd a while back when she was nearly 4. The very next day a local lad, age 5 died at his after school club, having choked on a grape. I'll be cutting my family's grapes forever now, even when I'm a crusty old fossil awaiting a birthday email from Queen Diana the First and my DDs are almost at retiring age.

ariane5 Wed 19-Jun-13 11:07:31

I have a massive issue with grapes, dd1 (11) occasionally has them whole but I make sure she bites them in half.

Ds1 has them cut in half.dd2 has them cut into quarters and ds2 14 months has 1 grape cut into about 12 little pieces. Iam so terrified of them choking.

Hv told me when dd1 was a baby that she had known of 2 children who died from choking on grapes and that it wasn't safe to give them whole. I am just as fussy about anything similar, cherry tomatoes, pieces of sausage etc.

RikeBider Wed 19-Jun-13 11:13:31

Grapes are apparently particularly bad for choking, and particularly difficult to dislodge if they do get stuck.

I still cut them for my almost 3 year old and do for the 5 year old for packed lunches. At home I just make sure he is sitting down and doesn't put them whole in his mouth.

I'll continue cutting up grapes, cutting sausage vertically and refusing to give my children round lollipops for as long as I can get away with.

I think 8 might be a good age to relax (maybe)

stretch Wed 19-Jun-13 12:28:56

I cut up grapes for my 2 youngest.

It's not about being a bad mother, or a parenting fail. FFS! It's not a competition to see who is the most relaxed or non-uptight mother. It is just something that needs to be thought about. Like telling children not to run with lollipops etc..

I never cut up grapes for my older two, I didn't know about it. Doesn't make me a bad mother. As soon as I found out with the others, I did. Just common sense really! hmm I never knew about marshmallows either, until now. Will be more careful in future. Thanks.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 12:29:49

I didn't know that about the skin, I'll keep on chopping then

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 12:30:50

Stretch exactly!

squeakytoy Wed 19-Jun-13 12:34:56

I know a 7.5 year old who still has all her food cut up for her.. she doesnt appear to know what a knife is for... I watched in amazement as one of her parents did this for her on Sunday.. even more in amazement when she then refused to eat the food (that she had picked), and demanded a different dinner because another child was having it. Further disbelief when said parent then allowed the first plate to be left, and ordered a second meal, then proceeded to chop that up for the spoilt brat child too.

margaery Wed 19-Jun-13 12:36:56

keep cutting them up for now, if you are concerned. I really think it depends on the child/person. If they are quick eaters then much more likely to swallow without chewing. DS (3.5) choked on half a grape recently cos he thought it would be fun to eat the whole thing, like a party trick ! He tried to do it again 5 mins alter so i cut them up into quarters now !

stopgap Wed 19-Jun-13 12:43:13

I cut up grapes, apples and tougher meat. My 2-year-old son tends to take the approach of shoving in his food, and we have to remind him to chew.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 12:47:37

Bloody hell Squeaky, that's v ott my 5 year old uses a knife and fork for her meals sounds like chopping things up is not the only issue they have!

pigletmania Wed 19-Jun-13 12:49:14

Oh dear I cut up dd 6 food, but she has asd and dev delay

squeakytoy Wed 19-Jun-13 12:54:45

There are no SN with this 7yo, she just really is that spoilt and mollycoddled.

SoftSheen Wed 19-Jun-13 13:02:24

A related question, does anyone know when it is safe to give children whole nuts? I imagine that peanuts and hazelnuts must be particularly dangerous because of their shape, but what about walnuts etc?

RikeBider Wed 19-Jun-13 13:04:34

Advice is no whole nuts under 5.

My 19 month old has grapes and I don't cut them up blush

I am a deficient parent.

I was cutting them up, but DH doesn't.

SoftSheen he also has nuts, any of them really. He's a cashew fiend!

TartyMcTart Wed 19-Jun-13 13:09:16


So can someone shed any light on why marshmallows are now the work of the devil? Or why sausages have to be cut up lengthways?

I can’t remember cutting up a grape past the age of 18 months. Surely if you’re that concerned by the risk of choking then you watch your child when they eat them?

chicaguapa Wed 19-Jun-13 13:11:25

I can't remember when I stopped, but DS was old enough to understand that he had to bite them in half first and that it was because it was a choking hazard. Once he'd promised me he'd eat them safely, I stopped cutting them.

It is hard to wean yourself off though. If Iknow it's a hazard and it ends up being fatal, it would be impossible for me to live with that. Like most things about parenting tbh. It took me ages to stop using the sensor pad under DD's mattress too.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 13:13:32

Short of packing myself in her lunchbox I fail to see how I could do that. Saying that I've never cut a sausage up lengthways either, I think Marshmallows are now considered a choking hazard as a couple of toddlers have got them stuck in throat and died, something to do with them swelling up? My Dds don't like them anyway so I don't know

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 13:15:45

I think you're right Chicaguapa, I've been doing it on auto pilot and it wasn't until DH laughed that I questioned it, it's hard to know because my DH loves to laugh at anything remotely health and safety related 'we survived blah blah etc'

CrapBag Wed 19-Jun-13 13:21:19

Marshmallows are bad because if they are stuck, they are stuck. There is nowhere for any air to get through and they cannot really be dislodged by the usual choking methods. They are the worse things for choking.

Grapes because the size and shape is like a cork for a childs windpipe (as told to me in the paediatric first aid course I did), same as cherry tomatoes.

Its the frankfurter sausages that are the problem, again cut into small round pieces is like a cork for a childs windpipe.

There was a top 5 of worse things to choke on, the rest that have been mentioned in my post, can't remember the other one.

IMO, its not worth the risk. We were also told that the worse thing is when I child laughs or coughs when eating, that's when they tend to choke because they suck it back then it becomes stuck.

I'm so glad all these people on here can say "oh well, mine are still here" etc. hmm Brilliant argument. Pity the opposite end aren't here to say differently.

I had a friend once who said "oh I don't bother, my children know how to chew" What like mine don't? No, I forgot I taught mine that the much gulp everything down whole. I also make mine sit when eating, my friend doesn't. But its ok, because her children know how to chew.

Pendulum Wed 19-Jun-13 13:21:39

Mine are 9 and 6 and I still cut grapes and cherry toms. I probably won't stop until they leave home!

CrapBag Wed 19-Jun-13 13:23:22

"If Iknow it's a hazard and it ends up being fatal, it would be impossible for me to live with that"

This exactly. Would anyone really be able to live with theirselves and their blasé attitude towards choking hazards (and I am not referring to the ones that was unaware of the risks)?

For me its the same as not using car seats in a car. I have friends who just say they are doing a short journey so it doesn't matter. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if that one time, it did matter.

Pozzled Wed 19-Jun-13 13:25:24

TartyMcTart Watching your child eat does not prevent them from choking. It can happen in a split second.

I never used to cut up grapes, until my good friend almost lost her son to a choking incident. They were lucky- he is fine, but it could easily have been different. And my friend was right there, watching him eat.

Pendulum Wed 19-Jun-13 13:26:49

Deflated or popped balloons also v dangerous. The latex coats the windpipe and can't be removed. You'd hope that a school age child wouldn't put a popped balloon in its mouth but the same isn't true of babies and toddlers.

BeCool Wed 19-Jun-13 13:29:18

I don't cut them - I've taught both DD's to bite a grape when it goes in their mouth, only put one in at a time, and to eat sitting down.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 13:30:46

So true Crapbag, it's not as if I send her to school with a jar of purée, she has all the normal things including sandwiches etched, all involving chewing!

mycatlikestwiglets Wed 19-Jun-13 13:31:30

TartyMcTart you can be thankful that you have neither lost a child, nor had to watch other parents lose their child in your presence, nor known someone who has lost a child, to choking on a marshmallow. You would undoubtedly be less blasé about the issue if you had.

Even paramedics can't remove a marshmallow which has swollen up and filled a small child's throat. It's an horrific choking risk which seems not to be at all well known.

PeazlyPops Wed 19-Jun-13 13:36:06

*Good grief. People cut up grapes?
My family have these amazing things called teeth.*

Wow, good for them! hmm

CatsAndTheirPizza Wed 19-Jun-13 13:37:28

'Cannot BELIEVE the idiocy and arrogance of some people on here today' I'm with you on that I heart. This: 'Life is to short to cut grapes' - well, it could be.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 13:41:40

Kids just get so excited when they eat together all it takes is for one to make the other laugh for them to suck a grape n to windpipe, of course I too have taught my DD to chew, sit down whilst eating and not talk when mouth full but I'd be naive not to realise that surely some of this goes out the window when they are together. I don't chase her around with a blender

MildDrPepperAddiction Wed 19-Jun-13 13:43:09

I never chopped up grapes for mine and they have lived! If they are old enough to eat food unsupervised then they are old enough to have whole grapes.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 13:46:24

That's good I am really glad, do I think that your child will choke if they eat a whole grape, honestly probably not and that's great but it's just something I can't do, does that make me a better mother No it just makes me me x

mycatlikestwiglets Wed 19-Jun-13 13:51:47

These "my child lived" anecdotes are heartwarming but totally irrelevant. Other children haven't lived - that's the point.

OP, nothing wrong with taking the least risky option for as long as you feel comfortable. YANBU to ask the question.

I did until at 13m, DD got into the fridge and helped herself. Was mad at DH for not locking fridge, but she is a really good chewer iyswim.

Angelodelighto Wed 19-Jun-13 13:58:32
BeCool Wed 19-Jun-13 13:59:04

I took the view that I don't/can't control everything that goes in their mouths. Therefore the best route was teach them how to bite & eat properly.

CrapBag Wed 19-Jun-13 13:59:09

My children are good chewers, whatever the hell that is suppose to mean. hmm

And when they have got hold of grapes whole, they have not died. Still doesn't stop me taking that chance though.

CrapBag Wed 19-Jun-13 14:02:44

I also watched my 3 year old brother choke when I was 11. My dad was doing back blows and luckily he just threw up everywhere. He was going blue though and it was horrible. I have never ever forgotten watching that. It wasn't grapes, it was a sweet, a soft haribo type sweet.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 14:05:13

BeCool one does not negate the other, yes I chop grapes up and yes I have taught my children to bite and eat properly, my 5 year old uses a knife and fork as I have said.

Feminine Wed 19-Jun-13 14:08:53

I am surprised to read here , that some nurseries don't cut? confused

The one place I'd have expected to get the memo. angry

At my children's school there are little ones walking around with little lunchboxes with massive grapes! I want to warn the parents, but I know that would be wrong.

I mentioned yesterday on the party thread (staying) that this is one of the reasons why I do. Too many choking risks.

ScrambledSmegs Wed 19-Jun-13 14:10:04

I don't bother if I know that someone responsible is going to be supervising DD1 eating them. She's 3. Nursery don't cut up grapes which makes me very hmm but they've got government guidelines and studies that they've shown me, so I suppose they know what they're doing.

But in a lunchbox? Yeah, I'd cut them in half.

TheCutOfYourJib Wed 19-Jun-13 14:11:16

I never chopped grapes and mine lived!!

Yes and you could probably go out without your seatbelt on and not die but statistically you are more likely to.
Do you not understand statistics and facts?
Your survey of one does not prove anything.
Some lazy and ignorant people on this thread!!

Feminine Wed 19-Jun-13 14:11:34

scrambled do you think its worth a mention to the nursery?

I'd be so worried. Why don't they realize...?

ScrambledSmegs Wed 19-Jun-13 14:11:44

It only takes one accidentally inhaled grape to kill. Doesn't matter whether they were good at chewing or not hmm

ScrambledSmegs Wed 19-Jun-13 14:14:04

I have mentioned it to nursery. They've taken part in official studies etc, and they've been given advice not to cut up but to supervise carefully. Something to do with child development I think. They have a lot of guidelines, I swear they don't get up in the morning without reading a government study on it.

BeCool Wed 19-Jun-13 14:19:07

DD1's nursery (council run, London) never cut grapes either - grapes were available most days for the DC to help themselves to.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Scoobyblue Wed 19-Jun-13 14:23:14

I have never cut up grapes - but if you think that your child won't chew them properly then keep cutting them up until you think that they will.

Feminine Wed 19-Jun-13 14:24:18

I'm lucky that 2 of the staff at DD's pre-school are medically trained. An ex-nurse and a paramedic!

Still in shock that it is not routine in nursery though.

I get what you mean about guidelines

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 14:27:56

LunaticFringe! You just made me scare my baby by laughing out loud 'toothless grape guzzling freak'

KatoPotato Wed 19-Jun-13 14:29:55

We went to a play date where everything was cut into tiny pieces, couldn't work out what some of it started life as, it was like gravel. I felt pleased we'd met a play it safe mum, until she let them all go into the garden to play on the trampoline with no enclosure that was placed on the patio!

BeCool Wed 19-Jun-13 14:30:58

TheCutofYourJib - why the name calling? People have different ideas and opinions to you - get over it.

what is it about threads like this that make people so annoyingly defensive?

1very I didn't suggest one would negate the other at all. IMO (which you asked for BTW) I decided not to cut grapes but to teach each DD how to bite them, chew and eat them safely. One of the important factors in my decision was I do not supervise all their meals. Also there was grapes (yes whole) on offer at nursery, and I's guessing they will get offered whole grapes on other occasions.

I am not lazy or ignorant - in fact I made an informed decision.

ScrambledSmegs Wed 19-Jun-13 14:32:17

I do agree with you, LunaticFringe. Which is why I've taken first aid classes for infants and young children. DD1 choked (properly choked) on some broccoli confused when about 1yo, it was the most terrifying and frantic moment of my life.

It's a worry, but DD1 loves grapes, but hates them being cut. So I supervise, and expect her to be supervised properly when at nursery too. They're not allowed to run around with food, and have to sit and eat under supervision, so I suppose it makes it slightly better. But not much. I wish there was a general consensus out there about this very thing, but when she's given uncut grapes elsewhere it makes it really difficult for me to insist on them being cut all the time.

She doesn't get them at home that often though, for this very reason.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 14:36:32

It's the implication BeCool, I asked for advice on whether I should cut up grapes and your advice is that they should be taught to bite/chew implying they haven't. I don't think you are lazy or ignorant, I don't know you

Buzzardbird Wed 19-Jun-13 14:44:06

I think the advice given about 'popping' grapes would be a good alternative to those that don't like them cut?
In reply to your question Op I think 5 is probably about right but I do think you make your own judgement based on whether they sit when eating or pop the whole thing in their mouths.

BeCool Wed 19-Jun-13 14:47:17

It's not my implication - it's yours.
Again it's a very defensive response and I wonder why?

You asked when are you "supposed" to stop cutting grapes. My reply (along with a few others here) is I don't cut grapes (well not once the DC had teeth). I never suggested your DC can't bite or chew - you imagined that. Again defensive.

Then there are the responses from other posters "what an outrage/lazy/dangerous/ignorant person" etc who doesn't cut grapes. There are many valid reasons for not chopping grapes and we are all free to make our own decisions.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 14:47:17

Thanks Buzzardbird

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 14:51:05

Why would I be defensive? Maybe because I secretly purée everything perhaps?? What could possibly be my secret. Yes other posters.

diplodocus Wed 19-Jun-13 14:55:52

All these people who say their children are "good chewers". Do you think the rest of our kids gulp their food down like a starving labrador, or else we provide it liquidised so they can suck through a straw? We don't cut grapes because of our children's inadequate mastication skills, but because there is strong evidence that they are a higher choking risk than other foods and all kids (even the champion masticators) can laugh at the wrong moment etc.

fabergeegg Wed 19-Jun-13 15:45:56

I stopped at eighteen months.

sausagehorse Wed 19-Jun-13 16:05:45

My sister is a doctor and has attended numerous unsuccessful paediatric rescucitations for grapes / sausages / marshmallows. Apparently as others have said the problem is the small amount of springiness in the skin and firmness - it allows these things to get completely wedged into the shape of the childs oesophagus whereas something softer could be dislodged and slip out and something harder would hopefully not fit the oesophagus so exactly so it'd be easier to dislodge.

Also I choked on a marshmallow as an adult, fecking scary and needed repeated heimlich manovers to get it out and my oesophagus will have been much bigger so fortunately I am still here.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 19-Jun-13 16:06:52

Goodness I ve never chopped grapes for my 2 or 4 year old but after reading sone of this thread, I will from now.

Oblomov Wed 19-Jun-13 16:07:15

I was asked by pre-school, for ds2, to cut them. I had not come across this recommendation before. So, for the last 9 years, I had not been cutting, totally oblivious.

halcyondays Wed 19-Jun-13 16:10:34

I still do for dd1 who's 7, dd2 doesn't really like grapes. It only takes a minute to cut them up, so why not?

RikeBider Wed 19-Jun-13 16:12:40

Highest risks for choking are whole nuts, sweets, grapes and sausages. It's not precious or overprotective to take a little extra care when giving these to young children.

CrapBag Wed 19-Jun-13 17:50:10

Rike its also marshmallows too because of their squishiness, chance of them budging if stuck is very very slim.

There was a story in the paper a couple of years ago, a 9 month old reached over and took a marshmallow out of his mums hot chocolate in a pub. It swelled and got stuck in his throat and he died, they just couldn't get it to shift.

DS loves the bloody things but I always tell him to chew well because of the choking hazard.

I have found that DD (2) chokes on the skin of satsumas. A few times I have given them to her only for her to be choking and gagging on them. My friend who is a nurse said the skin is even harder for them to chew and digest than grape skin. I'll just wait until she is older.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 19-Jun-13 17:58:08

God AngeloDelighto I just read the links you posted, how awful those poor mothers

needaholidaynow Wed 19-Jun-13 18:32:27

This thread has scared the hell out of me! My DS is only 2 and I never cut grapes up for him sad

wamabama Wed 19-Jun-13 18:48:16

Never cut up grapes... Didn't know I should! They chew them.

Buzzardbird Wed 19-Jun-13 19:41:21

There is enough evidence on this thread to show caution should be used. All children chew...even the ones that are sadly no longer with us.

MiaowTheCat Wed 19-Jun-13 20:25:13

Odds of grapes surviving in this house with me and DH long enough for the kids to get them are minimal. If they did I'd cut them though since DD1 doesn't chew but inhales food.

WMittens Wed 19-Jun-13 21:59:26

when you are supposed to stop cutting up grapes

I find after 6 or 7 cuts they're too small to hold properly, so leave it at that.

Gonnabmummy Wed 19-Jun-13 22:01:20

I am currently pg with first so a while off grape eating yet but glad I found this thread! I don't know if it would of crossed my mind otherwise but totally see the risk

cherryade8 Wed 19-Jun-13 22:01:50

Er I've never cut up grapes, my dd is 18mo and never choked. She chews them.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Wed 19-Jun-13 22:07:05

Blimey. This thread has scared the shit out of me. I stopped chopping up grapes when DS was about 12 months and I am quite neurotic about the whole food safety thing (I refuse to buy DS lollipops - he is 4 - for choking reasons).

How sad for those poor children sad

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 19-Jun-13 22:08:30

I'm not sure, I still cut up grapes for ds3 who is 2.3 and I also slice sausages down the middle.

Probably because I trained as a nurse and they showed us slides of throats with stuff wedged in them and sausage and grapes were two of them. My friends son choaked on a grape at 4 but luckily his dad managed to dislodge it.

LifeSavedbyLego Wed 19-Jun-13 22:17:27

Ah. I've failed again. I've never cut up a grape.

crashdoll Wed 19-Jun-13 22:19:13

I'm going to trot out an old MN favourite: "anecdote does not equal data".

WuzzleMonkey Wed 19-Jun-13 22:19:42

"All these people who say their children are "good chewers". Do you think the rest of our kids gulp their food down like a starving labrador, or else we provide it liquidised so they can suck through a straw? We don't cut grapes because of our children's inadequate mastication skills, but because there is strong evidence that they are a higher choking risk than other foods and all kids (even the champion masticators) can laugh at the wrong moment etc."

^ This^

DisappointedHorse Wed 19-Jun-13 22:24:02

I cut up grapes until my youngest was 5, I still do occasionally.

I had never considered cherry tomatoes, sausages or marshmallows though, all of which are eaten frequently in this house. Especially the tomatoes, DS eats them like sweets.

Seriously though, when do you stop and just leave it to trust? Mine are 9 and 6 and I still have a dreadful fear of them choking.

AlwaysWashing Wed 19-Jun-13 22:26:59

I get the piss taken out of me for cutting up my 2 year olds grapes still.
Don't care, will do it for as long as I need to. He's precious & it takes 2 minutes of my time. No brainer as far as I can see.

shallweshop Wed 19-Jun-13 22:27:32

My kids pre-school would only allow grapes as a snack if they were cut up because of the risk of choking. Grapes are notorious for being a choking hazard. I have just started giving DD whole grapes for packed lunch and she is 8.

RikeBider Wed 19-Jun-13 22:28:13

No harm ever came to anyone from having their grape/tomato etc cut in half. It's not going to stop them learning to chew or talk or anything else - so do it until to feel comfortable to stop.

diplodocus Wed 19-Jun-13 22:29:57

I've only relatively recently stopped for my 5 and 7 year old, but they still need to eat grapes at the table with someone there. I'm normally pretty relaxed about stuff but this is my Achilles heel - I was a nurse and the results of a few fatal chokings in A and E.

Levantine Thu 20-Jun-13 07:39:19

I am relaxed on many many things but I can't see much difference between giving my two year old a bowl of marbles to put in his mouth and a bowl of grapes.

I know that sounds dramatic, but really, why would you give a two year old a chokeable object?

tholeon Thu 20-Jun-13 08:01:46

I cut them up for my 17 month old but I let my 4 year old have whole ones, I have taught him to be extra careful about sitting down and not talking when he eats them, and I reckon he will get given them whole by other people, so needs to know how to eat them safely. Similarly with those horrible round lollipops. Am shocked about the number of whole ones I see given out at toddler groups etc though.

Lovethesea Thu 20-Jun-13 08:11:17

It's the simple fact that once stuck all the immediate paramedic help in the world can't usually get grapes out.

Other food shifts with backslaps or Heimlich. Grapes dont.

One cough or laugh, one swallow when a juicy grape squirts the back of the throat, it's really not about telling them to chew.

TheCountessOlenska Thu 20-Jun-13 08:31:17

I always cut up grapes but never even thought about marshmallows - eek (don't think DD has ever had them though).

And what's bad about popcorn!? we're always eating that!

At the toddler group I go to they never cut the grapes up shock AND they don't have lidded cups for the coffee shock

londonchick Thu 20-Jun-13 08:42:06

I have attended some fatal chokings too and they are possibly the most traumatic things I've seen.

Children do have differently shaped airways and require different management.

Those who are mocking the people who cut up grapes have, quite frankly, left me a bit disgusted. Maybe they could come and watch a child die from choking after a complete and utter accident and see if they still want to make smart c

londonchick Thu 20-Jun-13 08:42:34

Comments (dammit, posted too soon!)

SinisterBuggyMonth Thu 20-Jun-13 10:36:00

Well said
london chick. The "failed parent" faux pride comments on here are doing my head in.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Thu 20-Jun-13 10:36:12

Must have been horrific London

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Thu 20-Jun-13 10:37:28

It's making me laugh because I'm so far from precious it's untrue but cutting grapes just seems common sense to me

TheCountessOlenska Thu 20-Jun-13 11:53:59

1Veryhungry Me too, I'm ridiculously lax by most people's standards (no baby monitors, stair gates, reins etc) but choking really scares me so I will continue with my grape cutting possibly forever grin

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Thu 20-Jun-13 12:03:25

Choking aside, if you cut grapes up they fit better in little sandwich boxes.

DS, at 18m, can bite and chew grapes, but he needs reminding, so I keep cutting them up. I gave him strawberries whole though, so maybe my logic is flawed?

Hop strawberries squish though. Grapes are a particular hazard because of texture and being slightly squashy until they get thoroughly stuck.

Having read through the whole thread I'm going to be more careful and start cutting grapes. DS is an excellent chewer hmm although I'm not sure that's relevant. Not many people actually set out to choke themselves!

NewYorkDeli Thu 20-Jun-13 14:02:34

Some fantastic posts on here, also some posts that disgusted me. I will never understand parents who are so lax about things that are serious hazards.

It's great to see some posters who were not aware of the hazard, now going to cut the grapes etc up.

I have read some American study on children choking and the foods to be aware of are;
Grapes (always cut them in half lengthways)
Cherry tomatoes
Frankfurters/sausages (always cut lengthways)
Hard sweets/hard jellies.

BegoniaBampot Thu 20-Jun-13 14:03:15

Always used to cut up grapes. Once you have been told or have read about the danger - why wouldn't you? Didn't know about marshmallows and round sliced sausage though or I would have been grateful to have been informed and taken steps to minimise the risk.

Years ago remember reading of a little boy who choked to death at the checkout in tescos after eating a grape. It always stayed with me - the horror the parents, other shoppers and the poor staff who tried to help him with first aid must have felt. I find thoses scoffing or talking lightheartedly about this quite strange and disgusting.

kerala Thu 20-Jun-13 15:39:12

Grape cutter here but never knew about marshmallows so glad read this thread x

ZipItShrimpy Thu 20-Jun-13 16:16:01

I am bamboozled to still see people remarking how wonderful their children are at chewing on this thread.

You are missing the point! If your child accidentally chokes while wonderfully chewing a grape, the chance of you getting it dislodged are far higher if it is a cut grape.

I know I will continue to cut my childrens grape. Choking is IMO the most horrible way to die. I say that as a nurse.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Thu 20-Jun-13 16:52:10

The thought of them shocking on something that can't be hiemliched out gives me the shivers

FariesDoExist Thu 20-Jun-13 19:57:54

Well I recently stopped cutting grapes for my 6yr old but I think I might go back to cutting them now.

I did read that hotdogs are one of the worst things for choking.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Thu 20-Jun-13 19:59:40

I'm going to try and find some info on what age the trachea changes shape/widens

CrapBag Thu 20-Jun-13 20:38:09

That would be really useful reading very.

I too am shocked that there are still people coming on here saying that they are a failed parent and have excellent chewers and making light of it. Disgraceful really.

Lets hope you don't have to face the consequences one day.

HenriettaPye Wed 26-Jun-13 18:13:33

I plan to cut grapes up into quarters until DD and DS are 21 gringringrin

Then at their 21st birthday party We will all sit round and watch them eat a full grape, ready to intervene and do the Heimnic manoeuvre if required!! gringrin

In all seriousness tho- grapes terrify me incase my little ones choke. I worked in a nursery and the manager always cut them in half and I used to take the bowl and cut them smaller again!! You can't be too careful wink

HenriettaPye Wed 26-Jun-13 18:16:15

Just read the threads that the Heimnic manoeuvre doesn't work with grapes- ah well- looks like I'm gonna b cutting them forever then!

Apileofballyhoo Thu 27-Jun-13 00:38:42

Feel sick that I didn't know. DS doesn't really like grapes anyway (or sausages). He has eaten thousands of blueberries though. I wonder if there is a size which is considered safe, maybe related to child age?

I know blueberries are not as big as grapes in general, but a small round grape could be the same size as a large blueberry. Will be cutting larger ones in future. I just can't believe I didn't know about this.

Cucumberscarecrow Thu 27-Jun-13 03:39:54

This article says that food for babies and young choldren hould be cut to pieces no larger than one half inch.

I always thought big pieces are better so they gnaw off the right amount, chew, then swallow. So, I thought an orange segment was safer than a blueberry and a large piece of meat safer than a small cube. Am I wrong? The experts seem to think so.

Pitmountainpony Thu 27-Jun-13 05:12:51

My friend recently took her ds ER .he had dinner and started struggling to breathe...turns out he had breathed in an almond....there was a tiny hole where air could get in...anyway when she asked the 2 docs on duty , who deal with this and see kids die....they all said they still cut hot dogs, grapes, nuts and their kids were 7 and 9.
Says it all really.

Pitmountainpony Thu 27-Jun-13 05:16:45

Ps the Docs said they see loads of inhaled nuts.....very dangerous if you do nt get attention as your oxygen intake slowly decreases.....apparently mre common than choking but can still be fatal.

Cravingdairy Thu 27-Jun-13 05:59:42

I don't actually recall our nursery ever giving grapes (we get an interminable update on food every day.)

Cucumberscarecrow Thu 27-Jun-13 07:13:56

Our nursery definitely does grapes but I seem to remember arriving at tea time once and the grapes were cut. I will double check that they do this right up to age 5.

I have been googling and read somewhere authoritative that a toddler's trachea narrows to the size of a straw shock.

Thanks OP for highlighting this.

Fakebook Thu 27-Jun-13 07:27:30

We knew a beautiful little 3 year old when I was about 10. He was like a little man and so mature for his age and just loveable. My mum and dad were good friends with his parents and I remember when he was born and playing with him. He choked on a grape because his mum hadn't cut it up. Poor baby died after staying in a coma for 2 days. I'll never ever forget that little boy and the mother's crying.

Cut them up until you can trust them to eat them responsibly. Dd was about 4. I just rip them into quarters for DS; quicker than cutting. Same goes for things like olives.

Rosa Thu 27-Jun-13 07:32:51

My nephew age 8 big for his age got 1/2 a grape stuck last summer - dds witnessed it thanks to his dad it was removed quickly but my dds are really careful and yet they do ask them to be cut sometimes.. Dd2 is learning to spit cherry stones out, otherwise I cut them up as well.

IneedAyoniNickname Thu 27-Jun-13 07:59:47

Is never heard of.cutting up grapes until I joined mumsnet. Thankfully both mine are ok, but if I ever had another dc I would cut them.

One of the 1st threads I ever got involved in was a grape one, I was called all.kinds of names.for saying I didn't see the point of doing it. Then someone nicely explained the dangers!
Oddly though, there was a thread the same week (possibly day even) about leaving children unattended in a parked car and should it. I mentioned a mum that I know who.used to leave her dd alone in a locked car, out of sight while she collected an older dc.from school. The toddler was often left with a tub of grapes to keep her quiet. I was told the woman was well within her rights to leave the child unattended and locked in with.grapes confused

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