On Saturday, a 6-year-old girl on the outskirts of Manhattan fell victim to a deadly seasonal hazard that lands dozens in the emergency room every year about this time: marshmallows.
Marshmallows, or Jet Puffs as many call them, are made by using corn syrup and gelatin, and are a staple among children in the hot chocolate season. The average child consumes his or her weight in the darned things before the onset of puberty and mostly in the winter months.
While harmless to most, marshmallows claim a handful of lives every year by getting lodged in the throats and blocking the airways of crumb crunchers. According to the New York City Fire Dept., this traditional food sends over 100 patients to the hospital every year in the block around Zabar’s alone – half of which end up in serious condition or worse.
During last week’s blizzard, consumption shot up and so did the emergency room numbers.
With the reports of this year’s marshmallow injuries mounting, American bloggers are beginning to wonder out loud why this concoction isn’t regulated.
“Will someone please contact Mayor Bloomberg,” one anguished mother asked. “Surely the federal government will stop this tragedy,” another added. “I snatched my 8-year-old’s hot chocolate cup full of marshmallows just in the nick of time. I shudder to think she could have been laying on a stretcher now, waiting for a doctor to cut her throat open and extract them!”
The sticky, gooey quality of the confections prized by the young is the source of the problem.
“I think the greedy S’Mores lobby has hidden the facts,” said food administrator Prudy Katts. “The profits on these things are through the roof! We need warning labels, at least, on all of them.”
Others suggested Congress needs to look into the CRCC – Crisp Rice Cereal Conglomerates.
“Clearly, they are culpable in the high sales of the popular treats,” said consumer activist Alf Nadir. “They push their product as a harmless treat, but we know better. Corporate profits are all they care about!”
But lest you think the big square pillows getting stuck in your throat are the only problem, consider the mini marshmallow.
“My toddler tried to stick some up her nose,” said GwynethPaltry. “I don’t think Nazzy’s the only one who’s ever done it.” Katts acknowledged that they didn’t have any statistics on that problem – yet.
“I think if Michelle Obama would look into this we’d get some of the national attention this issue needs. At least we could get them banned in school cafeterias nationwide.”
“We need our government to move on this issue and move fast,” said Betsy Van Worthington. “Pretty soon the hot cocoa weather will be ending and the public will go back to its usual complacency. How many more have to die because of marshmallows?”
“The least we could do is to require marshmallows only be sold to those over 18. We already have to show our licenses for beer and dry ice and be patted down at the airports. Right now your child could be gone in a puff,” said Nadir. “Literally.”