Shanice Clark

Shanice Clark found dead from apparent accidental choking on chewing gum


As I have been talking about choking children, a tragic story comes out of Pennsylvania this week where a star college basketball player was found dead, an apparent victim of gum asphyxiation, or choking to death on chewing gum while sleeping. This may sound like some scare tactic your grandmother tells you to get you to spit out your gum, but it appears to be real, and with severe consequences.

baby choking

Women’s college basketball player, Shanice Clark, a senior at California University of Pennsylvania, was found in her apartment around 3 a.m. Sunday morning and pronounced dead an hour later. Important to note that while police are ruling this an accidental choking, blood tests and an autopsy are pending and the death is still being investigated. Clark was twenty-one, a six foot tall forward from Toronto, Canada.

Although choking on chewing gum is rare, it still it warrants caution. Watch your children, teens and even adults, as this story shows that anybody can choke to death. Be cautious with candy as well (children under 4 years of age should never be given hard candies or gum)—really just about anything can block an airway enough to cause choking and death. And again I stress—learn first aid/CPR—you’ll never be sorry for it.

A real freak tragedy in Pennsylvanian this week. Make sure you spit out your gum if you feel sleepy. That’s all.

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