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Choking Prevention

Choking Prevention Choking Prevention

Choking can be prevented. Food accounts for over 50% of choking episodes. 

But, also be alert for small objects that can cause choking, such as coins, buttons, and small toys. Check under furniture and between cushions for small items that children could find and put in their mouths. 

Toys are designed to be used by children within a certain age range. Age guidelines take into account the safety of a toy based on any possible choking hazard. Don’t let young children play with toys designed for older children.

Choking Hazard Items

Keep items that are choking hazards away from babies and young children. These include:

  • Coins

  • Buttons

  • Toys with small parts

  • Toys that can fit entirely in a child’s mouth

  • Small balls, marbles

  • Balloons

  • Small hair bows, barrettes, rubber bands

  • Pen or marker caps

  • Small button-type batteries

  • Refrigerator magnets

  • Pieces of dog food

Choking Hazard Foods

Some foods can cause choking. Keep foods such as grapes, hot dogs, raw carrots, or peanuts away from babies and young children. Cut food for babies and young children into pieces no larger than one-half inch. Encourage children to chew food well. Supervise meal times. Insist that children sit down while eating. Children should never run, walk, play, or lie down with food in their mouths. Be aware of older children’s actions. Many choking incidents are caused when an older child gives a dangerous toy or food to a younger child.

Keep the following foods away from children younger than 4 years:

  • Hot dogs

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Chunks of meat or cheese

  • Whole grapes

  • Hard or sticky candy

  • Popcorn

  • Chunks of peanut butter

  • Chunks of raw vegetables

  • Chewing gum

Additional Information:

Last Updated
First Aid for Families (PedFACTs) (Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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