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This Dad’s Message About Reading Labels After His Daughter Reportedly Choked Is Crucial

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For dad Justin Morrice, every parent's worst nightmare came true last week when his baby daughter, Annabelle, suddenly couldn't breathe while having lunch. In a Facebook post, Morrice tells the story, and social media agreed that this dad's message about reading labels after his daughter reportedly choked is crucial for parents to read.

Morrice said that his daughter was in her high chair, finishing up her lunch — which included a few Gerber's Little Crunchies, a cheese-puff type snack meant for babies who have "reached the developmental milestone of crawling." Morrice, who had turned away from her to rinse a dish in the sink, realized that she was trying to cry but not making any sound, and immediately picked her up, turned her over and slapped her hard on the back "as we were taught," he wrote — an allusion to parenting and CPR classes that teach the proper technique for helping a baby or child who is choking. When this didn't work, he did "the only thing he could think of":

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He then called his mom, who came straight over to calm him and Annabelle down. It was his mother who noticed — upon closer inspection of the can of snacks — that there was a warning on the can that said to discard it within five days of opening. Morrice was confused, so he opened a new can — and immediately noticed a difference in the consistency of the snack food.

On Gerber's website, the product page for the snack notes that the food should be used "within five days after removing seal for optimal freshness," but doesn't note the lack of freshness could pose a choking hazard. It does, however, note that the snack isn't suitable for babies who aren't yet "self-feeders," and that "This product should only be fed to seated, supervised children who are accustomed to chewing solid foods."

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images
TO GO WITH AFP STORY 'AUSTRALIA-CHINA-ECONOMY-HEALTH-LIFESTYLE' FOCUS BY GLENDA KWEK This picture taken on February 16, 2016 shows customers browsing products at 'Mr Vitamins', a chain of supplement outlets in Sydney. Asian consumers determined to improve their lifestyle are boosting the fortunes of Australian producers of premium baby milk formula, vitamins and honey, as the region's burgeoning middle class jumps on the health food bandwagon. AFP PHOTO /SAEED KHAN / AFP / SAEED KHAN (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Gerber responded to a request for comment on Morrice's story with the following statement via email to Romper, commending Morrice for sharing his experience and outlining why they use milestones, rather than a child's age, as guidelines on their products:

Morrice said in his Facebook post that he didn't mean to "degrade Gerber in any [sic] way" — he just wanted to remind busy parents to be sure to carefully read the labels on snack foods. "So many products post warning labels," he wrote, "but unless u scan the product you can get "lazy" as parents and it becomes routine."

Morrice also reported on Facebook that his daughter Annabelle is perfectly fine.