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Baby boy choked to death eating a grape

A baby boy died after choking on a grape while sitting in the garden of his Black Country home with his mother.


A baby boy died after choking on a grape while sitting in the garden of his Black Country home with his mother.

The tragedy has prompted a warning to parents to cut up food they give to young children.

Oliver Egginton was eating strawberries and grapes prepared by his mother Sharon, at home in Glendale Close, Halesowen, on June 21.

An inquest at Dudley Coroner's Court yesterday heard that Mrs Egginton saw her 21-month-old son start choking and struggling for breath.

He began to turn blue, and Mrs Egginton realised he had something stuck in his throat, said Black Country coroner Robin Balmain.

Mr Balmain said Mrs Egginton tried to dislodge the grape but was unsuccessful.

Paramedics were called but they could also not dislodge the grape, which Oliver had swallowed whole.

The little boy then stopped breathing, with the grape still stuck in his throat.

Oliver, who was unconscious but still had a pulse when paramedics arrived, was taken to Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, but was pronounced dead after further attempts to resuscitate him failed.

When the grape was removed from his airway, it was intact, Mr Balmain said.

He added: "This was a tragic event. It's every parent's worst nightmare."

Addressing Oliver's parents Sharon and Adam Egginton who were at yesterday's hearing, Mr Balmain added: "My heart goes out to you. I can't imagine what you went through."

Mr Balmain said the case showed that young children were not capable of eating large pieces of food.

He said: "I'm afraid I have to say that this highlights the importance of cutting up food for babies."

The medical cause of death was recorded as airway obstruction due to a grape in the pharynx. Mr Balmain recorded a verdict that Oliver died as the result of an accident.

Oliver's parents Sharon, an accounts clerk, and Adam Egginton, an IT consultant, did not speak at yesterday's hearing.

A post mortem report by Dr Philip Cox, a pathologist at Birmingham Women's Hospital, said Oliver had been a "healthy little boy ...who was growing and developing normally".

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