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:
Toys with small parts
Toys that can fit entirely in a child’s mouth
Small balls, marbles
Small hair bows, barrettes, rubber bands
Pen or marker caps
Small button-type batteries
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:
Nuts and seeds
Chunks of meat or cheese
Hard or sticky candy
Chunks of peanut butter
Chunks of raw vegetables