Risky Foods for Young Children
Children younger than 4 years of age should not be given round, firm foods unless they have been chopped into very small pieces. The following foods are common choking hazards:
- Hot dogs and sausages
- Nuts and seeds
- Chunks of meat and cheese
- Whole grapes and fruit chunks, like apples
- Hard, gooey, or sticky candy
- Chunks of peanut butter
- Raw vegetables, such as carrots
- Chewing gum
Dangerous Household Items
- Latex Balloons
- Marbles, small balls or ball-shaped objects (less than 1.75" in diameter)
- Toys with small parts or toys that can be squeezed to fit entirely into a child's mouth
- Pen or marker caps
- Small button-type batteries
- Learn first aid for choking and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
- Be aware that latex balloons pose a choking risk to both young children and older children.
- Children should never run, walk, play or lie down with food in their mouths.
- Cut food for young children into small pieces.
- Always supervise mealtimes.
- Be aware of older children's actions. Choking incidents can occur when an older child gives dangerous foods, toys or small objects to a younger child.
- Avoid toys with small parts and keep small household items out of the reach of infants and young children.
- Small parts test devices are available at many toy stores and baby specialty stores. If the part can fit in the tube, it is too small for a young child.
- Check the minimum age recommendations on toy packages. Age guidelines reflect the safety of a toy based on potential choking hazards as well as children's development.
- Do not allow young children to play with coins.
Choking Prevention in the News
- ABC Radio
- CNN Radio
- Dangerous Dogs–Chicago Tribune
- Pediatricians Urge Choking Warning Labels For Food–New York Times
- An Ounce of Prevention: Choking and Food Safety–PBS
- Why Pediatricians Are Advocating A Hot Dog Redesign–TIME
- Kids And Killer Hot Dogs? 3 Tips To Prevent Choking On Food–US News & World Report
Additional Choking Prevention Information
- Video: An Ounce of Prevention: Choking and Food Safety on PBS - July 29, 2011
- PubMed Abstract: Prevention of Choking among Children - March 1, 2010
- Press Release: American Academy of Pediatrics Releases New Policy Statement on Choking - February 2, 2011