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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)

3. Meat

4. Bone

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)

2. Fruits/vegetables

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:

1. Fruits/vegetables

2. Seeds/nuts/shells

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:

· Coins

· Buttons

· Toys with small parts

· Toys that can fit entirely in a child’s mouth

· Small balls, marbles

· Balloons

· Small hair bows, barrettes, rubber bands

· Pen or marker caps

· Small button-type batteries

· 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

· Popcorn

· Chunks of peanut butter

· Chunks of raw vegetables

· Chewing gum

Author: TxNaturalPediatrics

By training, I am a American Board Certified Pediatrician. But in my younger years I grew up with natural alternatives. As a mom I have tried to incorporate both for my kids and it has worked wonders. And finally, as I am studying natural & alternative medicines, I realize the beauty and wisdom of living closer to earth. Hence in my practice I integrate both...for acute ailments I follow American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation but for simple and/or chronic conditions I prefer natural alternatives. In western training we were raised to think that "health is the absence of symptoms and problems". But eastern sensibilities has educated me that "Health is state that allows one to use the full capabilities of their body, mind and intellect. Therefore, healthy living is a balanced state of well being: physically, mentally, socially and spiritually." This implies that healing is not a "one-pill-fits-all", but a personalized experience.

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