Jelly cubes pose choking risk in young children

by VNA09 March 2017 Last updated at 16:00 PM

VTV.vn - A five-year-old boy from HCM City’s District 10 died recently from choking on jelly cubes, sold in Vietnam in small plastic containers with a peel-off top.

Dr Dinh Tan Phuong, head of HCM City Paediatrics Hospital 1’s Emergency Aid Ward, said the boy, after taking off the top, sucked the jelly cube too strongly.

The cube, made with mixed gelatin and other ingredients, became stuck in the boy’s airway, Phuong said.

After the boy turned blue, his parents provided first aid but it was ineffective. The boy was then taken to the hospital, but died later that day.

Phuong said that jelly cubes can easily get stuck and block a person’s airway. This can lead to death or disability.


Two years ago, the hospital’s ward admitted a child who had choked on a jelly cube. The doctors saved the child, but he developed cerebral palsy because he had been deprived of oxygen for a long time.

Other hospitals in the country have also received children who have choked on jelly cubes or other items.

However, there are no official statistics on choking accidents involving jelly cubes or other items.

Phuong said that small jelly beans in milk tea can also pose a choking risk.

If victims are not given first aid within four minutes, they can suffer a brain injury, he said.

To unblock the stuck item, an adult should stand behind the child and lean and support the chest with one hand to force out the item blocking the airway.

Phuong said that parents should be careful in giving food to children. For example, they should take out seeds of longan and litchi and then cut the fruit into small pieces before giving them to children.

According to the charity organisation Child Accident Prevention Trust in the UK, choking is one of the main causes of accidental death in children under five years old in the UK.

The US National Safety Council’s Injury Facts 2017 showed that choking was the fourth leading cause of death from unintentional injuries, including in children and people aged 74 and over in the US.


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