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Boy Gets Pneumonia From Inhaling Popcorn, Mom Shares Warning

DENVER, Colo. (CBS Local) -- A two-year-old child nearly died last month in Denver when he developed aspiration pneumonia after eating popcorn and now his mom is sharing the experience to warn other parents.

Nash Goddard choked on the snack for a brief moment on Feb. 16, but recovered almost immediately while he was watching the film "Mrs. Doubtfire" with his parents, Nicole and Jake Goddard, and his two big sisters at the family's home.

"He started making a gagging noise and [Jake] jumped up really fast and went to grab him and he was getting ready to do the Heimlich on him and then [Nash] took a breath," Nicole told KDVR. "[Jake] said he was OK, we knew he was breathing. We did not see anything come out, we just assumed he swallowed it."

Over the next few hours, however, Nash developed a "really weird" cough. And by Feb. 18, the little boy had a 104-degree temperature.

Now that I've had a chance to sit and reflect on a very unfortunate but eye opening event that our family encountered. I...

Posted by Nicole Johnson Goddard on Sunday, February 24, 2019

"I was watching his stomach and he was breathing really hard -- like labored breathing -- and I'm like, 'That's it, I'm taking him in,'" the mother said.

After some tests, Nash was admitted to the hospital and ordered into surgery.

"There was so much inflammation he actually started to develop pneumonia in his left lung," Nicole said.

Doctors say one of the popcorn kernels that Nash consumed Feb. 16 had gotten lodged in his lungs and caused a bacterial infection that turned into pneumonia.

Nicole and Jake say they had no idea that children under the age of five aren't strong enough to cough up bits of food like popcorn and pretzels so she posted a few pictures of Nash in the hospital on Facebook to warn other parents about the potential danger.

"If I wouldn't have trusted my instinct and brought him in, the outcome wouldn"t have been good," Nicole wrote.

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