Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Serious Matter - Choking Threats for Children

The other day I learned about this little lady that lost her life at a party because she choked on a marshmallow.  She was 11 years old. There are so many things that pose a threat to our young kids and sometimes we don't realize how dangerous food can be. You may think that your kid is safe because he/she has always eaten certain foods well a million times before and nothing has happened. This is a very sad story and can, in many instances, be avoided when people know what to look for and how to react when faced with this emergency. People of any age are succeptible to choking. It is not exclusive to any age. However, young kids and older adults are more at risk.  For young kids it is an anatomy thing, their bodies are just not strong or big enough. Kids also tend to be jumpy, talk a lot, eat to fast, hold food in their mouth and that makes it more likely for them to lose control of the food in their mouth and get it stuck beyond a point.

Choking is one of the scariest experiences not only for the person suffering from it, but also the ones around.  So knowing what to do if that happens around you is key. Did you know that within 1-2 mins of starting to choke one can lose consciousness, 2-3 minutes one can start to sustain brain damage and 4-5 minutes one can die? Needless to say choking is a SERIOUS EMERGENCY.

Many foods are obvious that are a choking threat for small children, some obvious examples are hard candy, whole grapes, uncooked carrots, but did you know that kids can choke on peanut butter? I give my kids peanut butter all the time! And after learning it is a choking hazard I will consider how I will give it to them.

These foods can be dangerous for children under 4
Hot dogs (especially cut into a coin shape), meats, sausages, and fish with bones
Popcorn, chips, pretzel nuggets, and snack foods
Candy (especially hard or sticky candy), cough drops, gum, lollipops, marshmallows, caramels, hard candies, and jelly beans
Whole grapes, raw vegetables, raw peas, fruits, fruits with skins, seeds, carrots, celery, and cherries
Dried fruits, sunflower seeds, all nuts, including peanuts
Peanut butter (especially in spoonfuls or with soft white bread)
Ice cubes and cheese cubes
Foods that clump, are sticky or slippery, or dry and hard textured

And of course, always keep an eye out for small objects in your house that can be a hazard. The size of a kid's windpipe is approximately the diameter of a drinking straw. So if your little likes to put things in the mouth to taste or try out be extra vigilant.  These items include latex balloons, coins, marbles, toys with small parts, small balls, pen or marker caps, button type batteries, medicine syringes, screws, stuffing from a bean bag chair, rings, earrings, crayons, erasers, staples, safety pins, small stones, tiny figures, and holiday decorations including tinsel, or ornaments and lights (we tend to overlook those, but if they can put in their mouths, it is a hazard).

Food Danger
Hotdogs cut into coin shape (red plate) are a choking hazard. Cut them lengthwise twice then widthwise to reduce risk of choking (blue plate). Soft cheeses can also be a hazard, as can slippery hard boiled egg.  Watch kids closely while they eat!

Lessen the chances
Cut food in small pieces for children under 4
Instruct your kid to stay seated - never let them walk while eating
Always keep an eye on your children while they eat - it is very likely if they are choking they will not do anything
Don't let your kid eat in the car (I'm so guilty of this one!!)
Offer liquids during meals
Don't rush kids during meal or snack time


Learn what to do
There are things you can do to help a person who is choking.  I am not qualified to teach you what to do in case of a choking emergency, but please watch this video to learn how to identify when a person is in trouble and how to help.  Share with all in your family so everybody knows what do. This is so important! The video is 8 mins long and worth every second of it!


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Let's all keep an eye on our babies! They don't need to become a statistic! Choking injuries and deaths are preventable.

For more information, visit the Choking Prevention for Children page on the NY State Department f Health website. That's where I got the majority of this information.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This is highly creative food decor and I think this is ideal for your champ as a treat for their celebration. Would surely get my kids one of these after his game

    ReplyDelete