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13-Year-Old Choked to Death on Hot Dog

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Daily News: San Pedro, Calif. -- The death of a San Pedro boy who choked on a hot dog during a game at a Boys and Girls Club fundraiser for Haiti earthquake victims was an accident, a coroner's investigator said.

Kid eating hotdog

Noah Thomas Akers, 13, of San Pedro, died Monday at Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach, four days after the choking incident at the club at 1200 S. Cabrillo Ave. in San Pedro, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

The cause of Noah's death was "choking on food" and it was listed as an accident, a coroner's investigator said in a telephone interview.

Noah was among about 120 middle school and elementary school age children taking part in the fundraiser Thursday afternoon, club executive director Mike Lansing told the Daily Breeze. Activities included a dance contest, tug-of-war, and musical chairs.

Noah joined a dozen other children in a hot dog eating game, which club officials noted was not a contest to see who could eat the most hot dogs, the Daily Breeze reported.

Each participant was handed a cooked hot dog with whipped cream on it in a bun, and each child who could finish the unusual combination was to receive candy as a prize.

Children were advised to take their time and were told it was not a speed event, Lansing told the Daily Breeze.

People tried to help Noah when he choked on the hot dog, and one staff member tried abdominal thrusts to dislodge the food. Paramedics arrived and used extended forceps to remove the blockage.

Noah survived but had gone too long without oxygen. He was removed from life support Monday, a family member told the Daily Breeze.

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Gail Cooke February 4, 2010, 8:17 PM

So let me guess, people are going to ban the consumption of solid food for kids under the age of 18….wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

Phila McDaniel February 5, 2010, 2:13 AM

This incident was totally unnessesary and should never had happened. No game or contest involving such food as a hot dog should be allowed without parents present. The food was solid and by putting whipped cream on it made it even more liable to cause a young person to choke. The paramedics took 12 minutes to respond and I do not believe that those people at the center were capable of removing the hot dog from Noah’s throat in time to save him. His seven year old sister was beside him and witnessed this tragic event. This entire incident was caused by negligence by those planning the event. Noah had many friends and was a super good boy. His friends all need grief counseling now and are devastated by the loss as well as his family.

bobby February 7, 2010, 2:28 AM

My condolences goes out to the boy’s family. When will they stop having these food contest and not only, with children but adult too. Chewing is serious business and food has to be chewed throughly. No more food games.

Nicole February 22, 2010, 9:13 AM

Sure, it is extremely sad that this accident happened, and my heart goes out to this boy’s family, but to say that the school was at fault for having a “food game” is ridiculous, and another example of people trying to lay blame where none is needed. MANY foods are solid, so what, are we to stop serving any food to children? It states that the game was not a race, therefore a child should know the speed at which they can chew. This boy was most likely not listening to the rules, and THAT is was caused his death, not the game itself. It was the boy’s own negligence that killed him. Sad, but true.

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