Tragedy as girl, 3, choked to death in Asda as family shopped for camping trip

Poppy Reardon, 3, was at Asda in Aintree in August 2021 with her parents when she ‘choked on a foreign object’ she had ‘bitten off her father’s top’

Staff at the store have been left traumatised

An off-duty paramedic desperately tried to save a little girl who was choking “on a foreign object” in an Asda.

Poppy Reardon, 3, died in what’s been described as a “tragic accident” while she was with her parents at the Asda on Ormskirk Road in Aintree. The family were shopping for a camping trip they were due to take the following day.

An inquest into the young girl’s death heard that Poppy had choked after biting something off of her dad’s hooded top, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Poppy was being carried by her father when she began biting the plastic toggle, also known as a cord lock, the inquest heard.

Paramedics rushed to the scene but nothing could be done to save Poppy


Liverpool Echo)

Coroner Julie Goulding said Poppy had “accidently asphyxiated when she choked on the toggle she’d bitten off a top worn by her father.”

She added despite the efforts of paramedics, which continued on Poppy’s arrival to hospital, it “was not possible to resuscitate her”.

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

He told the hearing his partner alerted him to a baby choking and “going blue” on one of the aisles and ran to help.

The off-duty paramedic immediately began mouth-to-mouth but said it “felt like it wasn’t going in”.

Poppy’s parents, Rhian Reardon and Conor Mulhaney (known as Conor Clarke), were “really distressed” and also tried to help the choking toddler.

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

Poppy was rushed to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after her dad heroically battled to save her


Liverpool Echo)

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.

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.

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 of death, the coron sent her “deepest cause for their young family and friends sad loss.”

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