Hi there,

I'm interested to know if anyone has any experience with younger children occasionally gagging or choking on food.   Our son Thomas (age 6) has occasionally done this ever since he was around 2; it is infrequent and seems to occur when either he has too much in his mouth - not waiting till he has finished what's already in there - or certain soft, chewy foods like hot dogs.  He's also not great at spitting out or rinsing his mouth e.g. toothpaste, mouthwash.   The gagging/choking may well be nothing to with Duchenne but I would be interested to hear of others' experiences.

best wishes



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Hi Mark,

My nephew Connor, who is 7 years old and has DMD, was the same. He has always gagged on food and prefers to eat softer foods.  In fact his difficulty swallowing and eating is what lead my sister to get him tested by doctors. This is when they took his bloodwork and found the elevated CK levels.  Still to this day Connor has difficulty with a lot of foods. You are the first person I have heard of that has expressed this same concern. Glad we are not alone.

All the best,

Hi Andrea,

Good to hear from you. There are many other kids who gag on their food from time to time, so its difficult to know whether its because of DMD.   Does Connor have difficulty spitting/rinsing when brushing his teeth?

best wishes


Both our boys have choked and gagged a fair bit... but as our only two children both have Duchenne, I have nothing to compare it against.  Hayden, who's 5.5 years old, rarely does any more.  Cameron does occasionally, but usually when he's put too much in his mouth, or we've put something in that he doesn't want.


Hayden can spit just find when brushing, and Cameron tries, but doesn't have it quite down yet.  He generally swallows first, then drools a bit into the sink after brushing.

Simon still wanted his food in puree at age 2, but I thought it was simply from a texture standpoint, but now in hindsight I think he didn't want to chew. Had major trouble to nurse him also. Even bottle feeding was difficult until we cut the hole in the nipple much bigger and he had no work to do at all. We did notice that he never "spit up" as a baby, but he was our first and we just counted ourselves lucky. Little brother Will (no DMD  )spit up every time he drank.

2 times I have had to do the Heimlich on him in restaurants, but not since he was 4. The last time was very scary. Once he "stored" some broccoli in his cheek, like a squirrel or something, and on the drive home 20 minutes after we had left the resto (and had eaten dessert too) he began to choke while strapped in his car seat. My husband was able to pull over quick and I jumped out to help but he had gotten the whole piece of broccoli up by himself.

He loves meat and so we are just very careful to remind him to cut small pieces or we cut for him when he can't.


Another Andrea.

Mark, I asked my sister Sarah and her son Connor did have a lot of trouble spitting/rinsing when brushing his teeth up until this past year.  They really had to practice and he seems to be better at it these days.  However, they still have had instances of gagging if he has too much water in his mouth.

My son is 18 months he was diagnosed at 1yr he always choked on food the weaning process has been so hard even choked on milk and drinks a lot even now he coughs all night and when he's tired ,meal times he seems to hold food in his mouth for along time without swollowing then puts more in and chokes it takes a very long time to eat he has a very small appetite its a real worrie for us

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