Mum issues warning after her little girl almost fatally chokes on common item

Mum and baby hugging

New Zealand mum Rebecca Fitzgerald, is hugging her daughter Charli a little tighter these days, after an almost fatal choking incident gave them the shock of their lives.

Hair clip choking hazard

Rebecca wants to remind other parents that danger lurks in places we might not consider, explaining that her baby had swallowed a hair clip which lodged in her throat – and could have killed her.

Charli’s hair had been clipped in cute pigtails when the little girl fell asleep. Rebecca told TVNZ that she’d put her exhausted 1-year-old to bed in her cot, after a morning out, when things went pear-shaped fairly swiftly.

“We were out for the morning and drove home. She fell asleep so I transferred her straight into her cot. She woke up and I could hear her on the monitor. And then she just went quiet,” Rebecca said.

“She was just really floppy”

When the worried mum went to investigate, she quickly realised her baby was in terrible trouble.

“She just stared at me just vacant and just trying to gasp for air. And she was just really floppy, no noise, just every now and then you would hear this gurgle which meant then there was a tiny bit of air getting in, but obviously just not enough,” Rebecca recalls.

A terrified Rebecca called an ambulance straight way, and ran out of her home screaming for help, repeatedly striking baby Charli on the back to try to dislodge the hair clip.

Unfortunately no help was on hand, but thankfully the paramedics arrived quickly. They bundled distressed mother and baby into an ambulance and managed to suction the clip out of Charli’s throat, shortly before they arrived at the hospital.

Important reminder

This is a warning to parents who dress their children in hair accessories or jewellery, and it’s another reminder to keep an eye out for the sorts of potentially life-threatening choking hazards that are commonly found around the home. (Those plastic tags that seal the top of a loaf of bread are a prime example – and should be outlawed.)

Perhaps you’re not sure what to do if your child is choking? Here’s a possibly life-saving reminder from St John Ambulance so you can respond appropriately if disaster strikes.


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