Safety Tips to Keep Your Kid From Choking

Suzanne Murray

Photo by Mamasita2Many

Grapes: Not a toddler-friendly food,

unless cut into quarters

The number-one fear of most people? Speaking in public. Mine? Choking (in public or anyplace else). Now that I have a kid, I'm petrified that she's going to choke to death too. Chew, chew, chew is our mantra.

Discovering that choking is the leading cause of death and injury among children, especially those under the age of four has done nothing to relieve my anxiety. Did you know that a child dies every five days in the United States from choking on food?

Yesterday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement with recommendations for ways in which government agencies and food manufacturers can make food safer for our kids (such as by redesigning the hot dog, for example).

The AAP also provided these choking prevention safety tips for parents:

1. Don't give children under the age of four round, firm foods unless they have been cut into very small pieces. Cut hot dogs lengthwise and grapes into quarters so they can't lodge in your child's throat.

2. Don't give toddlers other high risk foods—hard candy, nuts, seeds and raw carrots.

3. Never let small children run, play, or lie down while eating.

4. Keep coins and other small items out of reach at all times.

5. Carefully read warning labels on toys.

6. Use a small parts test device (available at many toy stores) to check whether a toy is too small.

7. Take a course in first aid for choking and CPR so you'll know what to do in an emergency. Your babysitters and other caregivers should take a course too.


Reading that list makes me feel slightly better because I'm golden on tips 1 - 6. Unfortunately, I'm a bad, bad mama when it comes to tip 7. I haven't taken a CPR course and I know, I know, I know I should. I'll sign up tomorrow.

I'd also like to add my own safety tip to the AAP's list:

Tell your child to "Chew, chew, chew ... "


Are you worried about your toddler choking? Have you made certain foods off-limits or taken a course in CPR?

Related posts:

Hot Dog Redesign May Curb Child Choking Incidents



Read More