‘He saved my baby’s life. I owe him everything’: Mom’s harrowing account of daughter choking on teething toy

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“I wasn’t going to post about this, but as a mother, aunty and friend of many with kids, I felt I had an obligation.

I had an experience yesterday that I’m calling the scariest of my life. It’s a long story, a wild ride, but if you can hold on until the end I promise it has a good ending.

I was out to lunch with a girlfriend, we’d just ordered, and we’re sitting, talking as we normally would. I had Lukah in her stroller next to me, and she was munching on a Rusk, a teething biscuit, quite happily. Or so I thought.

I turned to look at her and noticed she had something in her mouth, and at first thought it was the end of her dummy chain, which she often chews on… until I remembered she didn’t have her dummy chain on. About a split second later I realized that it was a bead from her teething garland, which has been hanging across her stroller for months for her to chew on. I quickly put my finger in the side of her mouth and got the bead out, and then I saw that she had another bead in there, half way down her throat. I started to panic, she was choking, and I froze.

As she went from pink, to red, to blue, I screamed at the top of my lungs for someone to help. People rushed from every direction of the cafe and a couple of them attempted to help. The cafe owner called emergency services as I continued to scream like an absolute crazy person. My baby was going to die, that’s all I could think about.

My loud screaming got the attention of people throughout the mall, including one man, who ran across the carpark, jumped through the open window, scooped Lukah up and had her in a downward position and giving her blows to the back within what seemed like half a second.

This man, was ex-military, and he saved my baby’s life. I owe him everything.

We spent the rest of the day at the hospital. There were X-rays and checkups galore. We weren’t certain which way the bead went, so we had to be extra safe.

Lukah has woken in her usual happy mood today, I haven’t slept yet. I’m paranoid. I can’t get the image out of my head. And I can’t stop thinking that if that man wasn’t there the outcome would’ve been a lot worse. He really is a superhero.

Baby in car seat with face blurred out holding teething toy that caused her to choke
Kahla Hilton

I don’t put blame on anyone for this happening. Not at all. But I do want to slap myself silly for putting so much trust in a piece of string.

Never again.

Everything made with teething beads has been thrown out. And I highly recommend all parents consider doing the same.

If you’ve ever purchased one of these products, you’ll notice that they all mention the safety procedures they’ve been made under, which is there to makes parents feel comfortable, but if you read further, you’ll notice in most cases there’s also a disclaimer, that no responsibility will be taken in the case of injury or death.


Before I get any negative feedback for my parenting, I have raised two teenagers without incident. And I’m most definitely an attentive and careful mother. Those who know me can attest to that.

The photos included here show two products made with these beads. I’ve blurred Lukah’s face out, because if you think that sharing this post with your friends may be helpful, please feel free to do so.

In this instance, we were lucky. Lukah definitely had a guardian angel watching over her yesterday. I would hate to hear of this happening to anyone else, especially if the outcome is worse. Be safe. Get rid of them, or give them a good check over if you want to continue using them.

I attended a baby first aid course a few weeks ago, and in this instance, I was unable to help my daughter with what I learned in that course.”

This story was written by Kahla Hilton of Australia. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.

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