A mum has told of the terrifying moment her her two-year-old son choked on a lollipop - as he was sat on her lap.
Amy Mantle was left shaken after what was supposed to be a relaxing appointment at the hairdressers turned into a nightmare - and she’s now warning other parents to be wary of the dangers and to advocate for first aid training for mums.
Her two-year-old son Baker was given the lollipop as a treat for him to enjoy while he sat on his mum’s lap as she got her hair done.
But things took a turn for the worse when Amy saw the sweet had come off the end of the lolly stick.
It was only when she saw Baker couldn’t breathe that she realised what had happened and, when she couldn’t remove the sweet from her son’s throat, she began to panic.
‘A one-off could be fatal’
Luckily, her hairdresser, Gemma Fairhurst, came to the rescue by holding Baker upside down and repeatedly hitting his back to dislodge the lollipop.
It took around 30 seconds for the sweet to move out of Baker’s airway, and mum-of-two Amy of Bispham, Blackpool, said of the terrifying experience on 28 April: “Normally I’m so paranoid about things and I never give my children lollies, grapes or Maltesers, but I thought because ‘he’s sat on my knee and he’s really behaving, one won’t hurt.’
“It made me realise that a one-off could be fatal and awareness is needed for the dangers of these lollies.
“It was just horrific and I was shaking all day – I’ll never forgive myself for putting him or myself through that.”
Amy, a public speaker and the founder of children’s boutique blessieandbaker.com, was getting her hair done at You Hair and Beauty Lounge in Thornton-Cleveleys and had taken Baker along with her.
‘I realised he wasn’t breathing’
He was sat on her lap as she was getting her locks trimmed when he was offered a lollipop and thinking that it would be okay as she could see him in front of her in the mirror, Amy let him enjoy the sweet.
He swiftly got the lollipop off of the stick and held it up to show her, when he suddenly coughed.
His shoulders began to bob up and down and when Amy asked if he was okay, he didn’t answer – when he continued to shake she realised something was seriously wrong.
Luckily, her quick-thinking hairdresser pulled Baker off her lap and held him upside down before hitting his back and after 30 seconds, the sweet came loose.
Amy said: “Baker can be quite hyperactive, but he was sat on my knee and really behaving himself.
“I thought one lolly wouldn’t hurt – he licked it a couple of times and within sixty seconds he held up the stick and showed me the sweet had come off the end.
“It was in his mouth and it sounded like he crunched it, so I just told him to be careful – then he did a little cough like he was trying to clear his throat.
“He made eye contact with me in the mirror and his shoulders started bobbing up and down but he’s a bit of a clown and likes to make people laugh so I asked if he was okay again.
“His shoulders started moving faster and that was when my hairdresser shouted ‘he’s not alright’ and I realised he wasn’t breathing.
“The sweet from the lolly was stuck in his throat – I leaned him forwards and hit him on the back as hard as I could but it was like it was all in slow motion.”
‘If my hairdresser wasn’t there Baker wouldn’t be here’
Amy continued: “My hairdresser swung the chair around and tipped him upside down, she was hitting him in the back for probably thirty seconds and another lady ran over to help.
“As I was about to pick up my phone to call 999 he started crying and the lolly came out of his mouth.
“He burst out crying and I scooped him up and went and sat on the other side of the salon – I held him for about twenty minutes.
“I’ve never experienced anything like that fear in my life – if my hairdresser wasn’t there Baker wouldn’t be here today.
“I will never say a one off won’t hurt, it made me realise the fact I don’t actually have first aid training and a lot of mums don’t.
“My advice to other parents is never give children lollies, I think they should be banned and a lot of people feel the same.
“Just always trust your gut – a one off really can be fatal and it’s just not worth the risk.”