HKQ Kids

Choking Prevention

We all know that it’s a natural instinct for kids to put things in their mouths. And for young children, this can be especially hazardous. Choking can be prevented.

For young children, especially, be diligent about keeping the following items out of reach:
• Toys with small parts, or toys that can fit entirely in a child’s mouth
• Toys that can fit entirely in a child’s mouth
• Small balls, marbles
• Balloons
• Coins
• Small hair bows, barrettes, rubber bands and buttons
• Pen or marker caps
• Refrigerator magnets
• Small, button type batteries
• Pieces of pet food
• Dishwasher and laundry detergent pods

Foods can also present a choking hazard. Make sure, especially for small children, that meal time is always supervised. Cut up foods into smaller pieces, no larger than ½ inch, and teach your kids to chew their foods well. Insist that kids sit down to eat, and they should never, run, walk, play or lie down with food in their mouths. Supervise activity of older children. Many times, an older child may offer a dangerous food or toy to a younger child.

Avoid the following foods for children under age 4:
• Whole grapes
• Nuts and seeds
• Chunks of meat or cheese
• Hard or sticky candy
• Popcorn
• Chunks of peanut butter
• Chunks of raw vegetables
• Chewing gum
• Hot dogs

Should you be faced with a choking hazard, time is of the essence. If your child is still able to speak or has a strong cough, their own coughing mechanism may be enough to dislodge the item that is causing them to choke. If your child cannot speak or cough, call 911, then perform more critical techniques such as the Heimlich maneuver or CPR. These and additional life-saving techniques can be learned at your local Red Cross. And, while you hope you will never need to use them, you will be so very thankful should the need arise.

Stay aware, stay safe.

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