Popcorn probably makes a regular appearance whenever your family has movie night, but here's what you should be careful about.
For most people, the weekly family movie night is not complete without a huge bowl of popcorn to munch on. Most parents think it's absolutely harmless for even their children to have it. But after what happened to this little boy, parents everywhere are realizing you can never be too careful.
Nicole Johnson Goddard and her family sat down to watch Mrs. Doubtfire as part of their weekend tradition, where they all cozy up on the couch and watch a movie.
"Last Saturday night we were all watching a movie and eating popcorn which is a very frequent event on the weekend in our home. I didn’t think twice to give Nash popcorn," wrote Nicole on Facebook. Her son Nash, who was a little over two years old, had what seemed like a small choking episode but seemed fine after a while. Nicole continues, "We didn’t see anything come out so we assumed he swallowed it. He seemed completely fine and continued to watch the movie. The only thing we observed was a cough he developed after the episode."
Nash seemed to be fine the next day except for the cough, which Nicole thought might have been because of the cold that's been going around. As Monday came, Nicole's husband, Jake left for a 3-day trip while Nash still seemed to be fine. But as evening came around, things started getting severe. "As the evening came I noticed Nash felt warm and he was super fussy. He had a fever, so I gave him Motrin and put him to bed," wrote Nicole.
"A very long night with him and then his breathing looked a little labored to me and he just didn’t feel good." That's when Nicole called up her pediatrician and rush Nash to the hospital. After the doctor conducted a chest x-ray on the little boy, it was decided that Nash needed a bronchoscopy.
Nash was taken in for surgery and once it was done, the doctors came out with 6 pieces of popcorn that had gone into Nash's lungs. "I paced and cried the entire time my little man was in surgery. Jake arrived at the hospital just in time to go to recovery and see nash," said Nicole. "He had aspirated popcorn into his lungs when he choked. The body recognized it as a foreign object and put puss pockets around it. All the inflammation caused him to develop pneumonia in his left lung."
However, because there was so much inflammation, the doctors believed that it was best to conduct the procedure once again after a couple of days to make sure everything was out. "It was an up and down roller coaster but we were in the best care. The second procedure was done and once again poor guy had to be put under and rolled off to surgery," wrote Nicole. "The Dr met us when it was over and said procedure was successful and he got the last piece out. Nash was a rockstar and recovered well."
Nicole is thankful for having trusted her instinct and brought Nash to the hospital just in time. But she urges parents to be careful about giving popcorn to children below the age of 5, especially because it's such a common thing. The mother couldn't believe that her little boy had to go through two procedures because of something that's regularly consumed in the Goddard family household.
"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. I got a lecture of course on how popcorn isn’t supposed to be given to anyone under 5," she wrote. "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 dont’s as we did with our first." Nash was soon able to come home and was eventually back to playing with his sisters, thanks to Nicole who jumped into action at the right time.
Nicole hoped that her son's story would be an eye-opener for parents everywhere. Cleveland Clinic also mentioned that toddlers shouldn't be given foods that could cause choking, including popcorn, chips, pretzels, raw carrots and raisins, among other things.
The mother ended her post by saying, "Always trust your gut because it’s right!! I want to thank all who stepped in to help, whether it was taking our girls for a night, or letting our dog out. The constant phone calls and texts to check on us meant a lot. We have a lot of special people in our life."
Watch Nicole speak to FOX31 about what happened to her son.