Food alert after boy choked at nursery

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A CORONER has issued a warning about food given to toddlers after a boy aged two died when he choked on a piece of sausage during a nursery lunch.

Coroner Roger Whittaker told an inquest into the death of Adam Milner, after a jury returned a majority open verdict, that he would write to watchdog Ofsted to see if further training was needed. He said staff might get more guidance on preparing food and administering stomach thrusts if toddlers choke.

Ambulance technician Nina Eigenmann told the jury at Bradford Coroner’s Court she had been aboard the ambulance sent to help and had unintentionally directed it to the wrong nursery. It took eight minutes to arrive.

Nursery nurse Amanda Marsden had prepared Adam’s food by cutting it into bite-sized pieces at Portland House Nursery in New Hey Road, Lindley, Huddersfield, in August 2009. She sat with him and others as they ate lunch when he began to cough.

After trying to remove the food with back slaps and stomach thrusts without success Miss Marsden followed the nursery’s protocol by asking a senior member of staff to call for an ambulance. Adam arrived at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary about 20 minutes after he had began choking, where medics removed the sausage. He was transferred to Leeds General Infirmary where he died four days later.

A postmortem report showed Adam, who died after choking on a foreign body, was starved of oxygen and had a heart attack.

Michael Bell, a Leeds intensive care consultant, who gave evidence said someone would have had to have cleared Adam’s airway and resuscitated him within minutes for him to have made a full recovery.

He said the toddler might have survived but he would have been severely brain damaged.

Nursery owner Lynne Murphy said her staff had NVQs in childcare and were trained in first aid.