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.
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!