Toddler, 3, chokes to death in Asda after biting plastic toggle off dads coat

A three-year-old girl choked to death on a toggle from her father's hooded top while shopping in Asda despite the desperate efforts of an off-duty paramedic to save her.

Poppy Reardon, 3, had been on a trip to the supermarket with her parents on August 10 2021 getting supplies for a camping trip the next day when the awful incident occurred.

An inquest into Poppy's death heard that the tot had "choked on a foreign object" which she had "bitten off" her dad's hooded top, the Liverpool Echo reports.

The court heard that Poppy was being carried by her father when she began biting at the plastic toggle on the top, also called a cord lock.

Coroner Julie Goulding said Poppy had "accidentally asphyxiated when she choked on the toggle she'd bitten off a top worn by her father."

She went on to say that despite the efforts of paramedics, which continued on her arrival to the hospital, it "was not possible to resuscitate her".

David Fitzmurphy, an off duty paramedic, told how he was shopping at the store with his partner during the incident but had stepped outside to make a phone call.

His partner alerted him to a baby choking and "going blue" on one of the aisles and said that he ran to help.

The off-duty paramedic began mouth-to-mouth immediately but said it "felt like it wasn't going in".

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Poppy's parents, Rhian Reardon and Conor Mulhaney (known as Conor Clarke), were "really distressed" and also tried to help their choking daughter.

An off-duty operating department practitioner started CPR until paramedics arrived at the scene before the young girl was taken to Alder Hey Hospital.

After seeing the incident unfold on the podium cameras, security guard Neil Brown also said he called for a first aider to attend the aisle.

Tragically when the ambulance service arrived, the three-year-old was already in cardiac arrest and not breathing.

Upon her arrival to hospital, Poppy was "not breathing on her own" and there were "no signs of life" despite repeated CPR attempts and adrenaline shots.

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The inquest heard that the top worn that day was a Nike running jacket designed for adults and had been distributed globally with "no other issues similar to this".

Hearing from global products compliance, a toggle of this kind would not have been a feature on a child's top due to it being "prohibited by law" but it was confirmed this piece of adult clothing passed all relevant laws to be sold to the public.

Ms Goulding added the adult top complied with all appropriate UK and international standards and this had been a "tragic accident".

Concluding an accidental cause of death, the coroner sent her "deepest condolences to the young family and friends for their very tragic and sad loss."

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