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Prevention of Choking

P.A.M.P.A cares about the Health and Safety of your children. Our safety topic for the month is – The Prevention of Choking.

Choking is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children, especially in children 3 years of age and younger. Did you know that approximately 70 children under the age of 10 die from choking each year in the United States?   Foods, coins, and toys are primary causes of choking injury and death.

► Hot dogs are the food most commonly associated with fatal choking in children because of their shape and compressible nature, which allow them to  become wedged into and completely occlude a child’s airway. Hot dogs must  be cut into very small pieces in order to be safely eaten by young children.

► Other high risk foods include hard candy, peanuts, seeds, whole grapes, raw carrots, popcorn, chunks of peanut butter, marshmallows, chewing gum and sausages.

► Remember children who are 3 to 4 years old are still learning to chew  effectively. Walking, running, talking and laughing while eating can increase the risk of choking. Please ensure your young child is able to pay full attention to the task of eating.

► Latex balloons (and broken pieces of a balloon) pose the greatest risk for non-food related choking. They are able to conform to and completely occlude a child’s airway with an airtight seal.

► Balls, marbles, and other round toys also pose a risk. Remember that toys that contain small parts should be kept away from young children

► Babies explore their environment by putting anything and everything into their mouths. Never leave small objects in your baby’s reach.

Because it is impossible to prevent all choking episodes in children, CPR and choking first aid should be taught to all parents and other care providers!

© 2011 Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
PAMPA is a pediatric medical practice in north Atlanta, Georgia consisting of twelve pediatricians, five nurses,
and four locations in Roswell, Woodstock, Atlanta, and Marietta. area.
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