Parents are warned not to give young children marshmallows after a shocking video shows how easy it is for them to choke.
Former paramedic Nikki Jurcutz has explained that children under the age of four should not be given the candy.
Now running the child safety page Tiny Hearts Education, she posted the clip on Instagram to show how sticky candies can easily become lodged in a child’s throat.
The images show a plastic tube being used to demonstrate a trachea.
Former Australian paramedic uses her Instagram account to teach parents about child safety
The marshmallows are round and large enough to cover a child’s entire windpipe, the safety guru said.
Because they are so “sticky” when eaten, it means that marshmallows pose a serious choking hazard if they get stuck.
Ms Jurcutz, from Australia, uses a grape to lower the tube first, which is then easily dislodged with a few swipes of her hand, which is to simulate the Heimlich maneuver.
But when you use the marshmallow, it immediately gets stuck and doesn’t budge even when you hit the tube several times more than with the grape.
She said: “That’s why marshmallows are a high-risk choking food and why I don’t give them to children under the age of four.”
‘Their round shape means they could completely block the entire airway.
“When they’re wet, they become sticky and harder to swallow, and they’re harder to clear from the airways.”
But there are various modifications that people can make to marshmallows to make them safer.
For example, parents can cut them into smaller pieces or use mini marshmallows instead.
People reacted with amazement and surprise at the advice and many were unaware of how dangerous the candy can be.
Abbey.piner said: ‘I’ve seen a child (not mine) choke on a marshmallow and I’ll never forget the look of fear on his face because he couldn’t breathe.
‘Fortunately with the blows to the back it cleared up, but they are a big no, no for me!’
A_peachy_life said: ‘I have witnessed first hand a mother turning her back on her little boy eating one and he went down the hill very fast.
I had to act fast. He was fine.
Katerous said: ‘This I didn’t know. Austin wasn’t allowed sugar until he was 2.5 anyway lol (I doubt addy would get that far haha).
But also, he hated marshmallows. No popcorn and marshmallows for little Addy anytime soon.
But aussie_mamma_bear said: ‘It’s funny how times have changed. I have had 6 children and the youngest is now 12.
‘We never had to cut fruits like grapes or not give marshmallows.’
Nikki Jurcutz has previously warned that most parents are too soft when trying to save their child’s life from suffocation.
Many people responded to the video to say how shocked and surprised they were at how dangerous the candy is.
Nikki Jurcutz has previously warned that most parents are too nice when trying to save their children.
Parents often ask about first aid for choking and confess that they are afraid of hurting or bruising their babies when they are slapped on the back.
But the health professional says you can’t reasonably hit them ‘too hard’ in the back and that using force will actually save their lives.
“If you’re about to need back blows, it means your child isn’t getting oxygen to the lungs,” he said.
The nurse also urged parents to become familiar with choking first aid and the proper way to hit back.
When a child is choking, some people mistakenly use three fingers instead of the palm facing up.
Every second the object stays inside is another second without oxygen for your child.
Tiny Hearts also introduced the ‘life above limb’ principle which states that saving your child’s life takes precedence over a bruised back.
“Bruises can heal, a baby without oxygen for four minutes can’t,” said the nurse.