There’s a good reason why kids are taught to eat slowly and to chew their food carefully. Aside from the fact that it’s good manners, it’s a safety precaution as well. There’s always the danger of choking when food is not chewed properly.
According to health.ny.gov, choking is one of the top leading causes of kids’ death:
Choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death in children under the age of 5.
The website further adds that 5-year-old kids are at most risk of choking. Kids at this age have the tendency to put things in their mouth that can cause them to choke. Aside from toys and small household items, food is one of the most common things that kids choke on.
Unfortunately, the most common foods that your kids love to eat are choking hazards. There are 10 frequently eaten foods that can potentially choke your kids. It’s important that you know what these foods are.
Here are the top ten frequently eaten foods that can choke your kids.
10. Hot Dogs – 2.6% of food choking ER visits. Hot dogs are the same shape as a child’s airway and a usual suspect to be blamed for choking. Even if you cut it in a coin, it’s still the same shape as your child’s throat.
What is crunchy at first but becomes a gooey, doughy mess?
Well, Cookie Monster never choked on them but kids have choked on cookies.
9. Cookies, crackers, or biscuits – 3.1% of food choking ER visits. Pile in a handful of them, or biscuits, or cookies, and you’ll end up with a gooey, doughy mess that can cause problems.
We eat them in movie houses and never thought they can be dangerous to little kids.
Just beware of the hazards that these crunchy and yummy snacks can cause to little children.
8. Chips, pretzels, or popcorn – 4.6% of food choking ER visits. These are rigid items that kids can have difficulty chewing properly.
We often get them from convenience stores and snack on them.
Surprisingly, seeds and nuts — though small — have been known to cause choking when kids place a handful in their mouths.
7. Seeds, nuts, or shells – 6.5% of food choking ER visits. Kids often consume these by the handful, researchers noted. Sometimes the handfuls are too full meaning the kids get more in their mouth than they can handle.
Infants and babies need to drink this everyday to develop and grow.
Unfortunately, milk has been found to cause choking among babies so keep a close eye on them when feeding.
6. Formula, milk, or breast milk – 6.7% of food choking ER visits. While most of the kids were older, babies still exhibited signs of choking and were admitted to ER. Watch your feeder.
Kids love these as they are sweet and almost always served fresh.
Make sure to cut fruits and vegetables into really small pieces when serving them to little kids.
5. Fruits and vegetables – 9.7% of food choking ER visits. Make sure things are prepared in small pieces.
Chicken, meat, and fish have these. However, sometimes we may miss removing them when serving them to little kids.
Make sure to double-check and remove those little bones when serving meat, chicken, and fish to little kids.
4. Bone – 12% of food choking ER visits. Little fish and chicken bones can be nasty things. You and I would watch for them in our food, less experienced eaters won’t.
This common source of protein is good for little kids for muscle development. However, it is by far one of the three known causes of choking.
Make sure to cut up meat into little pieces when serving these to little kids.
3. Meat, not including hot dogs – 12.2% of food choking ER visits. Again, it’s a case of biting off more than they can chew. Serve your kids small pieces of meat and encourage them to eat slowly.
There is no doubt kids love things that are sugary and sweet. It’s not really good for their teeth. However, we tend to still give them this as a treat.
Gummy candies and other types of candies really need to be cut in smaller sizes when served to little kids as these types of candies have been known for years to result to kids choking, with some being fatal.
2. Other types of candy and gum – 12.8% of food choking ER visits. You really have to ask yourself if a kid needs candy and why / when you give it to them.
On the next page is the no. 1 cause of choking in kids. Here’s a clue: It’s also very sugary and something dentists have always warned parents about as a leading cause of cavities in children’s teeth.
Please be very careful in giving your kids hard candies as this is the no. 1 cause of choking among little kids. If you can avoid it, please do avoid it. Your family dentist will appreciate it too.
1. Hard candy – 15% of food choking ER visits. Think about how you eat it, it’s in your mouth and you suck on it, forcing the candy back in your mouth. A kid who doesn’t have the finesse to keep it in place with their tongue will fire that thing back in their throat fast.
It may not be that easy to stop your kids from eating the various foods on the list, but you should definitely keep a watchful eye on them. It’s important to note that when kids choke, they cannot scream for help. The most they can do is cough but that may not be loud enough for you to hear. If you’re not close by, you won’t be able to recognize that they’re choking.
Although there is a universal sign for choking, mom should be able to look out for more signs in case their kid is choking. Coughing and grasping for air are the most common signs.
For immediate First Aid, mayoclinic.org recommends the “five-and-five” approach. You can give 5 back blows or 5 abdominal thrusts. You can also alternate the two. Keep in mind that even if you have dislodged the obstruction, you should still rush your kid to the emergency room to be more on the safe side.
As much as it can be fatal, choking can also be prevented. So learn more about the top 10 food-choking hazards on babble.com. This very informative article gives you more than enough reasons to carefully watch the food your kid eats.
Which food items in this list has your child had a close call with choking?