Popcorn is one of America's favorite snacks and the quintessential movie treat. Although a movie with popcorn sounds like ideal family fun, it's important to remember that this and many other small snacks can be dangerous for our littlest family members. In a now-viral Facebook post, one mom is cautioning others to be careful after her son choked on a piece of popcorn.
Nicole Goddard shared that during a recent family movie night, she looked over and saw that her toddler son Nash was having a minor choking episode. The moment of panic was brief, however, because it appeared as if Nash had swallowed his popcorn.
After the incident, Nash developed a cough, but Goddard just assumed he was catching a bug. As his cough persisted and he developed a fever, though, Goddard started to feel uneasy about her son's condition. She trusted her instincts and decided to call his pediatrician.
Once she brought Nash to the doctor, the situation quickly turned scary. A chest X-ray confirmed that Nash had aspirated popcorn into his lungs. "The body recognized it as a foreign object and put puss pockets around it," Goddard explained. "All the inflammation caused him to develop pneumonia in his left lung." The doctor recommended Nash get surgery to remove the debris.
“I paced and cried the entire time my little man was in surgery,” Goddard said. “It was an up and down roller coaster, but we were in the best care.”
Due to the inflammation, Nash ended up needing two surgeries to get out all six pieces of the popcorn kernel. The good news? “Nash was a Rockstar [sic] and recovered well,” she wrote.
Goddard said that the doctors reminded her that she should not have given her child popcorn since he is under five years old. “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 said.
Many mothers commented on Goddard’s Facebook post saying that they, too, have given popcorn to children under five but won't do so going forward.
“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," Goddard wrote. “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.”
Goddard added that the experience was an “eye opener” and she hopes to raise awareness for how something as innocent as a movie snack can quickly become dangerous. The mom of three also wrote that she's thankful she trusted her instincts and brought Nash to a doctor, and advises other parents to do the same.
“Always trust your gut because it’s right!” Goddard said.