A TERRIFYING video demonstrates exactly why you should never give marshmallows to young children.

The squishy sweet treats pose a serious choking risk and are unsuitable for kids under the age of four, according to an ex-paramedic.

An ex-paramedic has said she never gives marshmallows to children under the age of four


An ex-paramedic has said she never gives marshmallows to children under the age of fourCredit: Instagram/@tinyheartseducation
She said the sweet treats pose a serious choking risk


She said the sweet treats pose a serious choking riskCredit: Instagram/@tinyheartseducation

Nikki Jurcutz said marshmallows become extremely sticky when chewed, making them notoriously difficult to swallow.

They can then get lodged in youngster's throats, preventing them from breathing, she added.

The former emergency health worker, who runs children's safety page Tiny Hearts Education, shared footage on Instagram to illustrate the dangers.

She said: "This is why marshmallows are such a high-risk choking food and why I don't give them to kids under four.

"Their round shape means they could completely block off the entire airway.

"When they're wet, they become sticky and more difficult to swallow, and are more difficult to clear from the airway."

Nikki, from Australia, then shows what happens when a grape gets stuck in a child's airway versus a marshmallow.

The small round fruit is easily dislodged with several back blows, but the sugary confectionery stays put.

If this was a toddler, they could then fall unconscious.

To make marshmallows safer for youngsters, Nikki suggested several modifications.

"Try cutting them into smaller pieces or swapping them out for mini marshmallows instead," she said.

"Modifying foods is a great way to make foods safer for your little one."

Parents flooded the comments section with praise for the potentially life-saving advice.

One mum wrote: "I feel like so many people don't know this. Great to inform and share."

A second replied: "I've witnessed this first-hand as a mum.

"I turned my back on my toddler eating one and he went downhill very fast.

"I had to act quickly. He was OK."

While a third said: "I have witnessed a child choking on a marshmallow and I will never forget the look of fear in his face as he was unable to breathe.

"Luckily with back blows it cleared, but they are a big no no for me."

But many questioned why coffee shops serve every babyccino - frothy warm milk with cocoa powder - with a marshmallow.

One said: "Why do they put them on babyccinos then?"

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Another responded: "It kills me that every cafe gives me one with a babyccino.

"There are so many better options."

Marshmallows can 'completely block off entire airways'


Marshmallows can 'completely block off entire airways'Credit: Instagram/@tinyheartseducation
They are also much harder to dislodge than other foods, Nikki said


They are also much harder to dislodge than other foods, Nikki saidCredit: Instagram/@tinyheartseducation

What to do if your child is choking

FIRST aiders at St John Ambulance give the following advice based on the child’s age.


1. Slap it out:

  • Lay the baby face down along your thigh and support their head  
  • Give five back blows between their shoulder blades  
  • Turn them over and check their mouth each time  

2. Squeeze it out:

  • Turn the baby over, face upwards, supported along your thigh 
  • Put two fingers in the centre of their chest just below the nipple line; push downwards to give up to five sharp chest thrusts 
  • Check the mouth each time  

3. If the item does not dislodge, call 999 or 112 for emergency help:  

  • Take the baby with you to call  
  • Repeat the steps 1 and 2 until help arrives 
  • Start CPR if the baby becomes unresponsive (unconscious)  


1. Cough it out:  

  • Encourage the casualty to keep coughing, if they can 

2. Slap it out:  

  • Lean them forwards, supporting them with one hand 
  • Give five sharp back blows between the shoulder blades 
  • Check their mouth each time but do not put your fingers in their mouth  

3. Squeeze it out:  

  • Stand behind them with your arms around their waist, with one clenched fist between their belly button and the bottom of their chest 
  • Grasp the fist in the other hand and pull sharply inwards and upwards, giving up to five abdominal thrusts 
  • Check their mouth each time  

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