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My daughter once choked and is hence scared of eating, what do we do?

Q: My daughter is 11 years old. About a month back, while she was eating her meal, some food particles got stuck in her windpipe/throat. As a result her throat got choked and after some efforts she was able to expel it out. But this turned out to be a terrifying experience for her. However, for the last one month she is scared of swallowing food and keeps it chewing and ultimately throws it out. She has lost about 2 kgs due to this. She is taking only drinks or very soft food. I took her to a doctor. There was no medical problem diagnosed. Therefore, the doctor could not do much. In fact, she has developed a fear psychosis. We have tried our best from encouragement to extreme coercion, but she is not recovering from it from. Can you please advise us what should be done in such an eventuality so that she resumes her normal eating habit?

A:Your daughter has developed a fear of choking on solid food after that traumatic experience. You can try to help her get over it by discussing the pros and cons of this fear. She is old enough to understand. Try to arrive at a mutual understanding how she can overcome this fear by taking gradual steps. She can try with semi-solids, then move to small bites of solids. Encourage and praise her small steps to normalcy. In case the fear persists, you should consult a psychologist for assessment, counselling and intervention.


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