Heads Up

Mom warns parents about dangers of giving popcorn to kids under 5 after son has to undergo surgery

January 7th, 2020


Every parent wants the best for their children. It’s an essential part of being a parent; you want your child to be safe and sound at all times, and you do your best to make that happen.

Unfortunately, there are so many risks out there, and even the simplest of things can pose a fatal threat to little ones.

You might not think that something like popcorn could be dangerous, but one Denver family had to endure a real nightmare after their youngest member was sent to hospital from eating the classic movie theater snack.

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Nicole Johnson Goddard Source: Nicole Johnson Goddard

2-year-old Nash Goddard was snuggled up with his family, including mom Nicole, 39, and siblings Ashlee, 9, and Regan, 7.

Like many families tend to do on movie night, the Goddards had prepared some popcorn to enjoy while watching the film. It was something they often did, and they’d never had any issues before, but this time proved to be different.

Little Nash had a small choking episode while munching on the popcorn, but moments later, he seemed fine and his parents weren’t too worried. “He started breathing quickly after and we didn’t see anything come out,” explained Nicole in an interview with USA Today.

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Nicole Johnson Goddard Source: Nicole Johnson Goddard

Unfortunately, Nash’s condition got a lot worse a few days later. He developed a nasty cough, as well as a fever, and he was having issues breathing. His mom knew that something serious was going on, so she rushed him to the pediatrician for a diagnosis.

At first, the doctors thought that Nash might be suffering from pneumonia, but when they heard about the popcorn incident, they changed their minds.

They performed a bronchoscopy to look inside Nash’s lungs and airways, discovering that he had breathed some of the popcorn pieces into his lungs.

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Nicole Johnson Goddard Source: Nicole Johnson Goddard

The doctors then had to perform very delicate surgery, extracting six pieces of popcorn from Nash at first and going in again for a seventh piece later on.

Fortunately, the little guy has gone on to make a full recovery. He’s still a little sore and has a bit of a cough due to the inflammation in his lungs, but he’s mostly back to normal.

Now, his mom wants to raise awareness about this issue, as there are countless families out there who have no idea about the dangers little kids can face when eating popcorn.

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Nicole Johnson Goddard Source: Nicole Johnson Goddard

She went online, writing about the event on her Facebook page and encouraging parents to share it around. Her post has been shared over 140,000 times so far, with tens of thousands of comments and many more families now fully aware of the dangers posed by popcorn.

Pediatricians also encourage parents to avoid giving foods like grapes, nuts, seeds, hot dogs, hard candy, and chewing gum to kids aged four and below.

Part of the problem with popcorn is that little children don’t usually have enough teeth to break down and properly chew the harder pieces or unpopped kernels. Toddlers, in particular, tend to just shovel food in without taking time to chew carefully, so it’s always vital for moms and dads to keep an eye on their kids and watch what they eat. Read more about Nash’s story in his mom’s Facebook post below.

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Now that I’ve had a chance to sit and reflect on a very unfortunate but eye opening event that our family encountered. I…

Posted by Nicole Johnson Goddard on Sunday, 24 February 2019

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