How to Prevent Your Child From Choking

Mealtime can turn from pleasant to panic in a matter of seconds. Protect your child from this mishap with our list of things to do and not do.

When your child starts choking, mealtime can turn to panic time in seconds. Even if hot dogs, the most hazardous due to their compressible cylindrical size, aren’t on the menu, young children face high-risks with other foods such as hard candy, peanuts, seeds, whole grapes, raw carrots, apples, popcorn and marshmallows, according to Dr. Heather Cadena, a Trenton pediatrician.

“More than half of pediatric choking deaths come from food-related choking, so supervision of younger kids and avoiding risky foods is very important,” says Cadena.

And the No. 1 no-no outside the kitchen? “Latex balloons. These can easily conform to the airway and create an airtight seal.”

Though it might seem impossible to completely childproof your home, there are a few key things parents can do to help ensure a happier and safer environment for your little one.

Do gradually introduce age-appropriate foods. “Babies should start solids by practicing with purees around 6 months,” Cadena recommends. “At 9 months, table food can be introduced. I tell parents to start with soft solids around the size of a pea.”

Don’t let them get distracted. The American Academy of Pediatrics tells parents to keep their child focused when eating. Engaging in high activity, like walking, running, talking or laughing, during meals may increase their risk of choking.

Do separate play areas. Cadena also suggests that young children with older siblings have a separate play area away from any tinier play pieces or toys with detachable parts. Keep older children’s toys in a tightly-sealed box out of your toddler’s reach.

Don’t assume safety. Before giving your child a new toy, always check the age label and feel for any loose or broken parts.

Don’t forget the bedroom. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control strongly recommends keeping soft objects like stuffed animals, blankets and other loose bedding out of cribs as well as steering clear of hanging mobiles overhead.

This post was originally published in 2014 and has been updated for 2016.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -


Ways to Celebrate Earth Day from Home

Earth Day is right around the corner. Take care of Mother Earth and celebrate Earth Day from home with one of these fun and green activities.

Beyond Van Gogh Exhibit Coming to Detroit

Become a part of a Vincent Van Gogh painting at Beyond Van Gogh Detroit, which will be on display starting June 25, 2021 at the TCF Center.

How to Get Your Child to Sleep Without a Nightlight

Is your child refusing to sleep in the dark? Two experts shed some light on how to get your child to sleep without a nightlight.

10 Waterfalls in the Midwest to Visit with Kids

Treat the kids to a road trip to one of nature's most beautiful creations. Check out our list of must-see waterfalls in the Midwest to plan your trip.

- Advertisement -