LadyNaija just said:

Have you ever heard of aspiration in medicine?

I bet that most of us, upon reading that headline, were at a loss. If I were in your shoes, I would be too but let me help you out.

The first time I saw aspiration and realized that it was used in relation to medicine, I assumed that the writer was going for ‘asphyxiation’ but somehow, misspelt it. However, the writer was definitely right, seeing that it was a medical website (I also looked it up to be sure).

Basically, aspiration in the medical field refers to a condition that is brought on by the accidental introduction of a foreign body into the lungs. Therefore, it is when what you swallow goes the wrong way—through the trachea instead of the pharynx. Common symptoms are choking, fever, chest pain, laboured breathing, and in the long run, it may lead to pneumonia or asthma.

What you should remember is that it can happen to anyone but older people and young children, especially those with developmental problems or health challenges, are most likely to have this problem. Therefore, children with Down syndrome, cleft palate, gastroesophageal reflux disease—this means they have difficulty with swallowing so it may come back up. 

However, there are occasions where a perfectly normal child who can feed properly aspirates, probably because the child choked while eating. In the course of learning about this, I stumbled on a Facebook, post where a mother talked about her toddler’s close shave with death after he choked on popcorn. Luckily, he recovered after two surgeries.

One major takeaway from that was that children under the age of 5 are not meant to eat popcorn because they can easily choke on it. Did you know that?

This is why we must be very watchful of young children and ensure they sit properly while eating.

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