Stop the Choke!

Stop the ChokeAccording to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), choking is one of the leading causes of death in children, especially children under the age of three. Fortunately there are things you can do to prevent your child from choking. Primarily it is important to keep small objects out of the reach of young children, such as:

  • Coins
  • Buttons
  • Small toys
  • Marbles
  • Small hair bows
  • Barrettes and rubber bands
  • Pen and marker caps
  • Small button-type batteries
  • Refrigerator magnets
  • Pieces of dog food
  • Balloons

Food is implicated in over 50% of choking episodes. Some foods, such as grapes and hot dogs, are just the right size to block a child’s trachea. The AAP recommends that foods given to babies and young children are cut into pieces no larger than one-half inch. They also recommend that the following foods should be kept away from children younger than four years:

  • Hot dogs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Chunks of meat or cheese
  • Whole grapes
  • Hard or sticky candy
  • Popcorn
  • Chunks of peanut butter
  • Chunks of raw vegetables
  • Chewing gum

Additionally, children should always sit down when eating. Kids should never run, walk, play or lie down with food in their mouths.

Finally, no matter how cute you may think it looks, do not put jewelry on babies and young children. Children will invariably put the jewelry in their mouths and risk choking. The same goes for the teething necklaces. Just because someone says a necklace is for a baby, doesn’t mean it is safe.

Posted In Newborn Toddler

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