Did you know that choking is the fourth leading cause of death in
children under five years of age? About every five days, a child somewhere in
the United States dies from choking on food. Studies indicate that the four
most often identified foods in choking are hot dogs, grapes, candy, and
peanuts. Choking is preventable.
The following are suggestions that will help decrease the risk of
small children choking:
- Choose foods that are appropriate for a child’s age. Hard to
chew foods like peanuts, popcorn, hard candy, etc. should be avoided. A child
should have erupted their molars before being given these foods.
- Always supervise children while they are eating.
- Keep children seated when eating. Running or horseplay with food
in the mouth should not be allowed.
- Cut food in smaller pieces to make foods safer to eat. For
example, cut hot dog rings should be cut lengthwise in narrow strips and then
again to make small pieces. Cut grapes into halves or quarters.
- Childproof your home for toothpicks, extra buttons, safety pins,
screws, nails, or anything your young child might pick up and put in her mouth.
sure you know what to do in case your child has a choking emergency.