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Eating Popcorn Put This Mother's Child In The Hospital—Now She Has Strong Warning For Other Parents In Viral Facebook Post

Nicole Johnson Goddard/Facebook

If Nicole Johnson Goddard knew she would wind up taking her 2-year-old son to the hospital after feeding him popcorn during movie night, she might have considered a different snack.

Goddard showed her kids — two-year-old Nash and his older sisters, ages 7 and 9 — Mrs. Doubtfire at home on Saturday, according to the New York Post, before the near-fatal incident occurred.

Now the Colorado flight attendant is spreading awareness of the potential harm of feeding your young children popcorn in a viral Facebook post.


"I wanted to share our experience because as I've shared the story so many people were shocked and unaware of the bad effect popcorn can have on a toddler," she wrote on February 24.


Popcorn. It's a movie-viewing staple for everyone, so why wouldn't she offer up the good stuff to her little ones?

"I didn't think twice to give Nash popcorn. Nash had small choking episode but was fine. We didn't see anything come out so we assumed he swallowed it."

Goddard, 39, noticed Nash had a coughing fit, but thought nothing of it. But when the coughing persisted over the course of the next couple of days and he got a 104-degree fever, she became increasingly concerned that something was off.

"As the evening came I noticed Nash felt warm and he was super fussy. He had a fever, so I gave him Motrin and put him to bed. A very long night with him and then his breathing looked a little labored to me and he just didn't feel good."
"I called my pediatrician immediately and said Nash needs to be seen ASAP. We went in and got sent to children's main campus immediately."

Doctors determined that Nash needed a Bronchoscopy after a visit with the pediatric pulmonologist and a chest x-ray revealed that the microscopic detritus from the popcorn were still lodged in his left lung.

Goddard added:

"He had aspirated popcorn into his lungs when he choked. The body recognized it as a foreign object and put puss pockets around it. All the inflammation caused him to develop pneumonia in his left lung."

Doctors extracted "six pieces of popcorn: kernels, shells and everything else," over the course of two separate procedures.

Nash recovered well after the surgeries and Goddard is relieved she followed her maternal instincts by seeking immediate help.

"Nash was a rockstar and recovered well. He had to go one hour on room air oxygen with out his o2 dropping under 90. He passed and we were discharged that evening."
"If I wouldn't have trusted my instinct and brought him in, the outcome wouldn't have been good."

She later learned that the American Academy of Pediatrics classifies popcorn as a "high-risk food" for toddlers.

"Always trust your gut because it's right!!"

Parents were grateful Goddard shared her story.

The viral post received 53K likes as of this writing and 138K shares, potentially saving the lives of other toddlers.


Nicole Johnson Goddard/Facebook


Nicole Johnson Goddard/Facebook


Nicole Johnson Goddard/Facebook


Nicole Johnson Goddard/Facebook


Nicole Johnson Goddard/Facebook


Nicole Johnson Goddard/Facebook


Nicole Johnson Goddard/Facebook


Nicole Johnson Goddard/Facebook


Even as adults, we've experienced minor chokes from those fussy, but delicious popcorn kernels. Goddard's warning is a good reminder for those of us who have never imagined the possible consequences to a child under 5 years of age.

We're glad you're okay, Nash!