Parents sue nursery after child chokes to death

Parents of a six-year-old boy who choked to death on a piece of cake at his kindergarten have filed a lawsuit against the kindergarte

Parents of a six-year-old boy who choked to death on a piece of cake at his kindergarten have filed a lawsuit against the kindergarten, demanding apology, explanation and compensation totaling 1.6 million yuan (US$235,000).

Teachers and staff at Blue Shell Kindergarten in Pudong New Area claimed they had tried their best to save the life of the boy, nicknamed Youyou, and got him to hospital in time. The mother, Wang Qinghua, does not believe their explanations.

The kindergarten released the results of investigation to Wang on March 21, 19 days after the incident occurred.

At 11:42am on March 2, Youyou left the canteen after he had lunch and two pieces of coconut cakes. He walked directly into his classroom and he pointed at his throat to the class teacher surnamed Wu, without saying a word. Wu asked him whether he wanted to vomit and he nodded, according to the report.

So, Wu took him to the restroom but he couldn’t vomit. He looked so unwell and he could not utter a sound. Wu thought something might be blocking his airway and performed the Heimlich maneuver and called for help.

Another teacehr rushed to the scene when she found Youyou’s lips had turned blue and could not detect any breathing. She performed another Heimlich maneuver on him and shouted for others to call ambulance.

At 11:44am, the kindergarten’s health director dialed 120. In the meantime, Youyou vomited, but his condition did not improve.

At 11:47am, teachers carried Youyou downstairs. 

When Wang was informed of the incident and went to the hospital, Wu told her that she had sent Youyou to the toilet and told him to vomit by himself. 

“When I asked whether she conducted Heimlich maneuver, she didn’t say yes. And she even couldn’t say the full name of Heimlich maneuver,” Wang said. “When I met Wu on March 9 at the kindergarten, she told me a new version of the story the same as what investigation report showed. I’m afraid that she might covered up the truth because of fear.”

Medical reports by Gongli Hospital showed Youyou’s heart was revived after emergency treatment but he still couldn’t breath by himself and he lost conscious. Later he was transferred to Shanghai Children’s Medical Center where he died in the early hours of May 2.

Medical reports by Shanghai Children’s Medical Center showed he died of foreign body aspiration and suffocation. 

“All I want is truth. I’ve demanded a third-party institute investigate, but no one responded,” Wang said. “Finally, I have had to turn to law.”

The trial opened on Friday. In court, Wang said the kindergarten was not equipped with monitoring cameras in public venues, teachers had no proper emergency training, and did not conduct CPR in time. 

According to safety rules published by the Public Security Ministry, monitoring cameras should be installed at corridor, kitchen, playground and other venues of a school. Ω

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