Having worries about the risk of a child choking is very common – and the risk is definitely real. It’s not surprising that meal preparation often includes taking the time to cut food into small pieces. But even with extreme care choking hazards can still exist.
Below you will find a list of the top foods related to choking incidences:
- Hard Candy & Gum – Should not be given to small children – excitement, laughter and other actions/reactions, such as playing, running, etc., can result in the child inhaling the substances
- Hot Dogs– minimize the risk by cutting the hot dog lengthwise and then cutting into small pieces.
- Raw Fruits and Vegetables
- Carrots – finely shred carrots to minimize choking risks – another option is to cook until the carrots reach a mushy state
- Apples – chop into very small pieces or cook until soft
- Grapes – cut in half (remove seeds if needed) and then cut again
- Seeds and Nuts (shells) – in general, seeds and nuts should not be given to small children
- Popcorn – popcorn should not be given to small children
- Marshmallows – marshmallows should not be given to small children
- Peanut Butter – always spread very thin and serve with something to drink
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 4 should not be given hard candy or gum. In addition, fruits and vegetables should be cut into very small pieces.
What To Do If A Child Is Choking…
Coughing is a good thing in the event of choking – if your child is coughing you should wait to see if the food is expelled. However, if the child cannot speak or if he/she is turning blue you have an emergency situation – call 911. Back blows and chest thrusts should be used on infants – the Heimlich maneuver can be used on children one year old and older.
In emergency situations it is always best to contact 911 right away. Your rescue attempts should be continued until the food is expelled and breathing is restored or until medical professionals take over.
Debbie Allen is a team member at Package From Santa. She frequently shares tips and ideas about ways to make a home safer for children and others.