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7-year-old boy dies after choking while eating school lunch


A 7-year-old boy died after choking on a quail egg in his school lunch at an elementary school in Miyama City, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Monday.

According to the Miyama City Board of Education, the boy began eating his lunch at around 12:30 p.m. when he suddenly stood up and looked like he was going to vomit, local media quoted a teacher as saying.

The teacher tried to help him clear his throat by holding his abdomen and striking his back. However, the child began losing strength and could not stand up.

He was taken to a hospital in Kurume City by helicopter, but died shortly after arrival. It is believed that the boy choked on a quail egg simmered in a miso oden dish served. The quail egg was about two centimeters in diameter.

A spokesperson for the Miyama City Board of Education said at a press conference: “We deeply regret what has happened and will work to prevent a recurrence. Quail eggs will no longer be used in school lunches.

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this is quite regrettable and sad, but I think a Heimlich maneuver would have helped save the child.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

I've never thought about it before, but a quail egg, whole, is just about the perfect size to be a choking hazard.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Not serving quail eggs is not the solution

I think the authorities missed the point of this incident

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Very sad for all those involved.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Striking someone’s back is actually the worst thing to do, it can cause the object to lodge even deeper in the throat.

Organisations such as the American Red Cross and the NHS recommend back blows before abdominal thrusts. Just make sure the person is leaning forward when you do them, to prevent what you describe. The advice may be different for children.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Its very easy to place blame and point fingers when we don't know, but the article said the teacher attempted some form of first aid unfortunately it didn't work but what the teacher did was better than doing nothing at all.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It is not the fault of the school. student, teacher, cafeteria or quail. It was an accident. Sad, yes. but an accident they and thru.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Children need to be taught to chew their food 20 times before swallowing. All sorts of benefits. I always found that Japanese ate too fast at lunch. They'd finish before I'd barely got started.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Such a sad story. Agree with above, knowing he heimlich maneuver would probably have saved him but we don't know. Not only the teachers but every student should be taught that from a proper age (which I am not going to dive into) Every adult on the planet should have this training especially anyone entrusted with the care of children and it should be like a fire drill growing up. Practice over and over again. I hope this is a wakeup call but I didn't see any mention of having additional training. The school lunch program isn't the problem, the rush to eat and proper table manners are. Parents need to teach their children proper ways to eat and not to hurry up at everything. Chew your food and take time away from all the electronics and daily stresses. That said when we were young we rushed to eat also so we could go play. Clearly the child tried to eat it in one bite. Very sad story for spring. Prayers going to the family and school officials involved. I hope the class gets the proper counseling and mental healthy services they need at this moment.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You don't serve choking hazard size food to kids

So only soup until they are 16 years old it is then?

Anything apart from soup is a chocking hazard, a bite of bread, a bite of chicken...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Quail eggs will no longer be used in school lunches

Love this typical over reaction. Did the kid not chew or something?

Unfortunate that he lost his life.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

In the Japanese article. The Heimlich maneuver was preformed and the Fukuoka based teachers are taught CPR and AED training.

The egg was lodged to deep. And the boy lost power to hold on or force the egg out on his own.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I've heard about kids choking on bread and mochi, but quail eggs are a first. I feel for the teacher and kids that were there at that time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This so sad, and 100% preventable. How is possible for Japanese schools staff not to taught to provide basic life-saving techniques? Heimlich maneuver and CPR etc… Unbelievable!

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Striking someone’s back is actually the worst thing to do, it can cause the object to lodge even deeper in the throat.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Chew your food before swallowing.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think the authorities missed the point of this incident

They seem to often do so, just read the recent article on Noto earthquake survivors who died from hypothermia.

Are they scared that they might do more damage if they try to save him? This is Japan after all. Good Samaritan is not a thing here.

I think its quite normal for non medical worker to be scared ina situation like this. Only psychopaths are not scared to make more damage. even with a proper training there's no guarantee for an average person to not be in a shock condition. A nurse should have been around though, with a proper training.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Most 7 year olds have learned to eat before the age of seven, still best in future to puree everything in the school lunch and just serve soup until the age of 16.

Did none of the teachers know Heimlich maneuver? Not even the school nurse?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Heimlich maneuver could save him..

Rest In Peace..

-1 ( +6 / -7 )


Child could be saved/alive and well with no sadness.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

My deepest condolences to the poor boy's parents.

May this young one rest in peace.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You don't serve choking hazard size food to kids, especially if you are running a school feeding young kids

Prevention is the best solution

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

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