Popcorn Kills Kids: Should Foods Have Warning Labels?

Flickr photo by veggiefrog
Choking is the leading cause of death and injury among children, especially those under the age of 4.

In 2001, about 17,500 children were treated in emergency rooms for choking; 60 percent of those incidents were caused by food.

Kids under 4 are at the highest risk -- they have small airways and fewer chewing teeth (first molars, which grind food down, don't come in until about 15 months; second molars around 26 months).

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wants to do something about it.


The AAP says that food should be subject to as much scrutiny as toys, and wants the FDA to require mandatory warning labels on foods that are known choking hazards. It's also asking manufacturers to redesign hot dogs.

The 10 foods that pose the highest choking risk:

  1. Hot dogs
  2. Peanuts
  3. Carrots
  4. Boned chicken
  5. Candy
  6. Meat
  7. Popcorn
  8. Fish with bones
  9. Sunflower seeds
  10. Apples

Foods that should not be given to children under 5:

  1. Marshmallows
  2. Peanuts
  3. Popcorn
  4. Raw carrots
  5. Hard candy
  6. Gumballs

The AAP also provides choking prevention safety tips for parents.

Do you think foods should have warning labels?


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