Billings Boy Fighting For Life in PICU After Choking on NERF Dart
Note 6/11: We received a message on social media that the boys last name is Reeves, not Darity. The article has been corrected.
This story will make every parent nervous. You can control a lot of things when it comes to your child's safety, like putting up child gates, covering electrical outlets and installing safety latches on the silverware drawer full of sharp knives. Other situations are difficult to prepare for, no matter how cautious you are.
I'm not a helicopter dad, but there are two big hazards that terrify me when it comes to my kids... choking and drowning. Steps can be taken to prevent drowning (i.e. basic pool safety and never leaving a kid alone in the bathtub), but choking can happen anytime, anywhere and there really isn't much you can do to prepare for a situation like that.
Incredibly, the boy chocked on a NERF dart.
A 13-year-old Billings boy named Cole Reeves is currently on life support in the PICU at a Billings hospital. How he choked is almost unbelievable, and it shows that it can happen when you least expect it. Here's what happened: Cole recently got braces on his teeth. To ease some of the pain and discomfort, he was chewing on a NERF dart. The dart somehow became lodged in his throat and the boy started choking.
According to the GoFundMe page, siblings and family first attempted the Heimlich maneuver, then CPR. Medics were eventually able to remove the object and get the boys heartbeat to return. They estimate his brain was without oxygen for 25 minutes. His recovery will be long and difficult and early CT scans reveal swelling on his brain and other cerebral damage. His family expects that Cole will be sent to Spokane or Denver for treatment.
This little guy and his family is going to need all the support they can get. I can't imagine what they are going through right now. If you'd like to help financially, here's the link to their GoFundMe page. Parent.com offers 13 tips to prevent children choking, although most of their advice is geared towards toddlers and younger children. The National Safety Council notes that choking is the 4th leading cause of unintentional death in the United States, with around 5,000 adults choking to death annually. Over half of those were over age 74.
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