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Four-year-old Mumbai boy chokes to death on toy he got free with packet of chips

Boy’s parents claim they took a while to reach the nearest nursing home, as the roads in their are were blocked owing to Durga procession

mumbai Updated: Oct 02, 2017 12:37 IST
Sadaguru Pandit
Sadaguru Pandit
Hindustan Times
Forensic experts who investigated the case said the toy got stuck in Piyush Khushwaha’s windpipe, which obstructed airflow and resulted in asphyxiation.(HT)

A four-year-old boy in Kandivli died on Saturday night after he accidentally swallowed a toy that came free in a packet of chips. The boy’s parents said they could not reach the nearest hospital in time owing to the traffic jams cause by Durga procession in the area.

Forensic experts who investigated the case said the toy got stuck in Piyush Khushwaha’s windpipe, which obstructed airflow and resulted in asphyxiation. “We found the toy stuck inside the trachea (windpipe) of the child, with complete obstruction of the airflow to the lungs,” said the expert.

Piyush’s father Birju said his son would have turned five in December. “He had a lot of fun because we took him to local fairs and Durga Puja pandals. We were returning from one such fair on Saturday when he asked for a packet of chips,” said Birju.

He said Piyush was unattended only for ten minutes. “It was a spring toy, which went off and got stuck inside his throat. He couldn’t speak at all. For five minutes, we tried everything we could to help him cough out the toy. However, we rushed to the nursing home after our attempts failed,” Birju added.

But the Khushwahas could not find an autorickshaw owing to the Durga procession at Kurar village, Kandivli. Birju said the nearest nursing home was 3km away from their home. “I carried him [Piyush] in my arms and ran through the traffic. It took us 20 minutes to reach the nursing home. The doctors, after checking him, referred us to Sanjivani Hospital. Doctors there told us he wasn’t breathing. But we had not our hope and took him to Shatabdi Hospital,” Birju said.

A doctor from Shatabdi Hospital said they could not do much, as Piyush’s windpipe was completely blocked and caused suffocation. “In such cases, many a time there is a partial obstruction or the foreign object enters the intestine. Unfortunately, in Piyush’s case, there was a complete obstruction of the airway, which needed immediate paramedic assistance within 5-10 minutes of the incident,” the doctor said.

Toys can kill

How to protect children from dangerous toys/ parts:

Always read the age-specifications on the packaging while buying a toy

Children between the age of six months and three years are more likely to swallow objects/toys/parts

Do not handover toys with small, removable parts to the children or ensure they are supervised while playing

If a packet of chips is offering small toys, temporary tattoos and so on, first remove the object before handing over the packet to the child

If the child is coughing, but is still able to breathe and make noise, let him or her try to cough out the object on its own

Don’t interfere by raising arms or patting the back

If the child is unable to expel the object, do not try home remedies

Immediately take him to a doctor or a trained paramedic

What is asphyxiation?

Asphyxia or asphyxiation is a condition of severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body that arises from abnormal breathing. An example of asphyxia is choking. Asphyxia causes generalised hypoxia, which affects primarily the tissues and organs. There are many circumstances that can induce asphyxia, all of which are characterised by an inability of an individual to acquire sufficient oxygen through breathing for an extended period of time. Asphyxia can cause coma or death.

First Published: Oct 02, 2017 10:06 IST