On an annual basis 12K kids go to ER for choking. Do you know why?
Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), looked at 100K choking-related ER visits that involved food between 2001 and 2009 for children ages 0-14 years. 10 % were hospitalized. ~35% were children under a year, although the mean age was 4.5 years.
The top five foods that kids choked on:
1. Hard candy
2. Other candy (like gum)
5. Fruits and vegetables
For babies under a year, the top three were:
1. Formula/milk/breast milk (peak age for this was 4 months)
3. Biscuits/cookies/crackers (beware of those baby biscuits–it’s easy to get a big chunk off).
For children 1-2 years, here were the top dangers:
3. Other candy (not hard candy–perhaps people usually know better than to give toddlers hard candy)
· Choking can be prevented.
· 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.
· Latex balloons are a choking hazard.
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
· Refrigerator magnets
· Pieces of dog food
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
· Chunks of peanut butter
· Chunks of raw vegetables
· Chewing gum