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Grapes at school

(33 Posts)
Embarrassment2016 Tue 19-Jul-16 07:24:55

Part of the free fruit scheme for YR, 1 and 2-often grapes arrive for the children.
These are given out whole in little really worries me as they are a choking hazard.
I'm thinking of speaking to the school as I think grapes should be cut in half. I have also seen at lunchtime on the fruit and salad bar mini bunches of whole grapes.

I know volunteers go in to wash the fruit, share things out such as grapes maybe they could cut them in half too? If I was able to volunteer myself id do it but sadly I'm not.

AIBU to bring it to their attention ?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 19-Jul-16 07:27:30

I think at 5 they can cope with eating a grape. They're sitting down not eating while running around.

insancerre Tue 19-Jul-16 07:28:53

Ask them to cut them into quarters lengthwise
That's the latest advice

Flashbangandgone Tue 19-Jul-16 07:28:54

Year 1 and 2 implies children are 5 to 7 year olds... At what age is it acceptable to provide a whole grape? If it's not acceptable at this age then perhaps grapes should always be halved, as adults can presumably choke too?

SemiNormal Tue 19-Jul-16 07:30:21

YANBU to mention it. I think the number of children who do choke on grapes is very small BUT that may be because many people do cut them in half.

Embarrassment2016 Tue 19-Jul-16 07:30:55

YR are only 4/5 with some just turned 4 so v young
At pre school we were told they HAD to cut grapes for safety and as YR is still part of EYFS would it not apply at least in reception?

Yes I'm aware adults choke too but surely it's about minimising risk for children where possible ?

branofthemist Tue 19-Jul-16 07:31:16

Year one and two are 5 up. The baby advice centre advice is cut them to the age of five.

I think cutting them for year 2 is overkill. Year one is boarder line.

SemiNormal Tue 19-Jul-16 07:31:52

I don't know what age it should be done until but 6yr old girl died from choking on one

branofthemist Tue 19-Jul-16 07:32:01

Are you not in England. Here reception is 4/5.

VioletBam Tue 19-Jul-16 07:32:13

I think you're being precious OP. Most children of 5 and 6 are given whole grapes. It's a minority who aren't.

What about cheese cubes? Melon balls? Bread? Sausage? All of these things are possible hazards. Are you going to insist meat is shredded?

Embarrassment2016 Tue 19-Jul-16 07:32:13

insancerre thanks for that-where is that advice from ? Is like to find a link of poss to maybe forward to school

RedHelenB Tue 19-Jul-16 07:32:23

I dont think they would get grapes if they needed to be cut up. Children need to be taught to bite and chew their food and surely by year 5 they should be able to?

branofthemist Tue 19-Jul-16 07:32:59

My Ds has been able to eat malteasers for years. I didn't cut them up blush

Embarrassment2016 Tue 19-Jul-16 07:34:42

Personally I send packed lunches with things that are obvious choking hazards cut smaller. Obviously you can choke on anything but of its cherry tomatoes grapes etc I cut it up

It's just the grapes at school really worry me

VioletBam Tue 19-Jul-16 07:35:09


There are so many foods which like grapes can pose a hazard. Apples, carrots, sausages, popcorn...basically any firm food which doesn't break down easily.

Teach your child to eat slowly and not speak while chewing or walk about.

VioletBam Tue 19-Jul-16 07:35:46

Bran Maltesers break down...they melt in the mouth

Embarrassment2016 Tue 19-Jul-16 07:36:17

I've avoided school lunches because of things like this as they have whole grapes/sausages etc and also due to dietary reasons but at least with packed lunches I can cut things up if necessary.

It's just a worry

branofthemist Tue 19-Jul-16 07:40:31

Bran Maltesers break down...they melt in the mouth

do they breakdown quick enough, if they get stuck in the throat.

I am a cruncher, never lasted that long grin

acasualobserver Tue 19-Jul-16 07:40:55

I think it is likely that your anxiety and the actual risk are not well matched.

Loulou2kent Tue 19-Jul-16 07:41:03

Knew a 5 year old who chocked on a grape & died. I think in a school where there's many children & you may not be close by to a child to spot a choke quickly it would be sensible to cut them. In our school it's advised for Early Years.

I agree most children eat them while & are fine, but if it eliminates risk then I can't see the harm. The skin is hard on a grape. If it gets stuck your throat muscles can't break it down like they could some other round things.

Tbf I also knew a grown man who died at his desk at work choking on lunch.

I let my 5 year old eat them whole if I'm near by & always ask him to bite into them rather than stick all of it in his mouth.

Embarrassment2016 Tue 19-Jul-16 07:42:03

Possibly, it does worry me a lot but I'd rather be over anxious and speak to the school than a child choke.

CountessOfStrathearn Tue 19-Jul-16 07:43:57

"There are so many foods which like grapes can pose a hazard."

Not really. Grapes and cherry tomatoes are spheres so completely block big airways and, when whole given their tight skin, are under tension making them incredibly difficult to dislodge from the airway of a choking child.

In the example that Violet gave, the sausages should have been cut lengthwise to prevent the circular shape to reduce the chances of choking.

I'm a doctor. Having seen the other side, my children get grapes cut up. At home, I'm less strict about it when we are having them, say, after dinner, but I think at school, if young children are chatting and mucking about with their friends, that's when it could happen. I wrote to school about it and they agreed and started cutting up grapes.

Obliviated Tue 19-Jul-16 07:44:18

Isn't there something about the skin on the grapes that makes them more likely to get stuck if a child chokes?

I always cut up grapes for my DC, and don't buy the apple and grape snack packs either, just the apple ones.

I wouldn't be happy if they didn't cut the grapes up for my reception aged child tbh.

Girlwiththedragontattoo Tue 19-Jul-16 07:50:50

Feeling like a bit of a bad mum reading this my lot have been eating whole grapes for ages I think I only ever cut them up when they first started eating

DeltaSunrise Tue 19-Jul-16 07:51:01

I have 7 & 5 year olds, at home, where I can supervise them, they get whole grapes.

At school though, they all sit outside for lunch and are able to get up and down and move around so yes, I still slice them for their lunch boxes. It takes a few seconds to slice them, it doesn't hurt anyone to have them sliced but it might just save a life.

I would mention it and see what they think tbh.

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