Choking Hazards Refresher

ss_100820010A grape, hot dog, gumball, raw carrot—what do all these seemingly innocuous foods have in common?  They’re just the right size to block a young child’s airway and choke her. Hot dogs cause the highest number of choking deaths of any food because the rubbery consistency helps them make an airtight seal. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just released new recommendations for preventing choking injuries and deaths in kids, and is focusing on food risks. The AAP is calling for the FDA to create new regulations like warning labels on foods that pose a high choking risk and recalls of foods that are significant choking hazards. And they’re also suggesting that manufacturers redesign food products to eliminate choking risks. But there are steps you can take at home:

-Keep round or cylindrical foods away from kids under 4. They shouldn’t eat hard candy, nuts, popcorn, marshmallows, sausages, seeds, apples, or raw carrots.

-Cut hot dogs lengthwise before serving them and cut grapes into quarters.

-Don’t let kids run, play or lie down while they’re eating. Eating quickly and laughing can also cause a kid to choke.

-Don’t let your child throw food in the air and catch it in his mouth.

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