Choking Hazards for Children Under 4 You May Not Know!

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Quick! What are the top three choking hazards for children?
You likely said small building bricks, bouncy balls, marbles, gumballs, hard candies, batteries, which are all choking hazards…But did you know the top three choking hazards for children are hot dogs, grapes, and raw carrots?

In these summer cookout and picnic months, many people often forget about the choking hazards for children under age 4 that are readily present at your average dinner table.

Grapes need to be quartered, as do hot dogs. Personally, I have this simple hot dog slicer that my son loves to use all by himself (He’s 7 with special needs).
It has a cutting edge that isn’t sharp and even has a ketchup holder. I’m not sure if it’s recommended for the dishwasher, but I put it in the top rack.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping foods including hot dogs, nuts, chunks of meat or cheese, whole grapes and hard candy away from kids younger than 4. Any food given to babies and young children should be chopped into pieces no larger than half an inch. Popcorn is also a commonly overlooked choking hazard in young children.

Please take careful inventory of this list compiled by WebMD:
•Carefully supervise young children during snacks and meals.
•Don’t feed your child while he or she is crying or breathing rapidly.
•Discourage talking, laughing, or playing while a child has food or beverage in their mouth.
•Seat children, especially toddlers, while eating.
•Don’t give children foods that may cause choking. These include hard, smooth, or chewy foods that must be chewed with a grinding motion or foods that are round and could easily get stuck in the throat.
•Cut food into small, pea-sized bites.
•Mash grapes, beans, or peas before serving.
•Dice hot dogs and sausages before serving.
•Avoid seeds, bones, and foods that can’t be cut into smaller pieces (such as nuts, popcorn, and hard/chewy candies).
•Only serve peanut butter spread thinly on bread or crackers. A spoonful of peanut butter can block the windpipe.
•Don’t give kids small items that may cause choking, such as marbles or jacks.
•Follow age guidelines when selecting toys for children.
•The safest toys for small children are said to be at least 1.25 inches around or 2.25 inches long.

Please share this with anyone who has small children or babysits young children. Spreading the knowledge can help prevent deaths!

Recall from Target, Aldi, and Walmart items

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From the Minnesota Dept of Agriculture website:

“Parkers Farm Acquisition, LLC issues voluntary recall of products due to Listeria contamination

ST. PAUL, Minn. –The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is alerting consumers to avoid eating certain peanut butter, cheese, salsa, and spreads produced by Parkers Farm Acquisition, LLC of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, after state agriculture department product sampling determined some of the finished products to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

There have been no reports of illness associated with consumption of the products. Parkers Farm Acquisition, LLC is cooperating with the MDA investigation and has issued a voluntary recall of all products with the “sell by” dates listed below. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged to return them to the place of purchase or discard them.

The list of recalled products includes:

16-ounce Parkers peanut butter in square plastic containers (tub with snap-on lid), including creamy, crunchy, honey creamy and honey crunchy varieties with a sell by date before 3/20/2015;

34-ounce Parkers peanut butter in round plastic containers (tub with snap-on lid), including creamy and crunchy varieties with a sell by date before 3/20/2015;

12-ounce Parkers spreads in round or square plastic containers (tub with snap-on lid), including jalapeño and pimento varieties with a sell by date before 9/20/2014;

8-ounce and 16-ounce Parkers cold pack cheese in round plastic containers (tub with snap-on lid), including sharp cheddar, bacon, onion, smoked cheddar, Swiss almond, horseradish, garlic, port wine, and “Swiss & cheddar” varieties with a sell by date before 3/20/2015;

16-ounce Parkers salsa in round plastic containers (tub with snap-on lid), including hot, mild, garlic, and fire-roasted varieties with a sell by date before 7/20/2014;

10-ounce Parkers cheese balls or logs (plastic overwrap), including sharp cheddar, port wine, ranch, and “smokey bacon” varieties with a sell by date before 3/20/2015;

10-ounce Happy Farms cheese balls (plastic overwrap), including sharp cheddar and port wine varieties with a sell by date before 3/20/2015;

16-ounce Happy Farms cold pack cheese in round plastic containers  (tub with snap-on lid), including sharp cheddar and port wine varieties with a sell by date before 3/20/2015;

8-ounce Central Markets cold pack cheese in round plastic containers (tub with snap-on lid), including sharp cheddar, port wine, horseradish, and Swiss almond varieties with a sell by date before 3/20/2015;

12-ounce and 20-ounce Hy-Top cheese spread in round plastic containers (tub with snap-on lid), including pimento and jalapeño varieties with a sell by date before 9/20/2014;

8-ounce Amish Classic cold pack cheese in round plastic containers (tub with snap-on lid), including sharp cheddar, port wine, and Swiss almond varieties with a sell by date before 3/20/2015;

14-ounce Say Cheez beer cheese in round plastic container (tub with snap on lid), including regular and hot varieties with a sell by date before 3/20/2015;

10-ounce Win Schuler original variety cheese balls or logs (plastic overwrap) with a sell by date before 3/20/2015;

8-ounce,12-ounce, and 14-ounce Bucky Badger cheese spreads (tub with snap-on lid) including cheddar, port wine, bacon, garlic, horseradish, jalapeño, and Swiss almond varieties with a sell by date before 3/20/2015; and

5-pound foodservice products including cold pack cheese foods, cheese spreads and peanut butter with a sell by date before 3/20/2015.

The products are distributed nationwide under the Parkers Farm, Parkers, Happy Farms, Central Markets, Hy-Top, Amish Classic, Say Cheez, Win Schuler, and Bucky Badger labels. These products were sold at several retail stores including but not limited to Hy-Vee, Cub, Rainbow, Byerly’s, Lunds, Target, Whole Foods, Price Chopper, Nash Finch, Costco, ALDI, Wal-Mart, and Brookshire stores.  Consumers with questions can contact the company at (800) 869-6685 or the website:  http://www.parkersfarm.com. 

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially serious disease marked by fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, and nausea. Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis, but it can sometimes cause fatal infections in infants, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis can also lead to miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women. 

Any consumers who believe they may have become ill after eating the products should contact their health care provider”

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*May contain affiliate links. All opinions are always my own