Healthy tips from a Registered Dietitian
Do you think you know what foods present a high choking risk to your children? Some consumers may not be aware that common foods – even ones they may often give young children – present a relatively high choking risk.
Last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a new policy on choking prevention. It is published in the March issue of Pediatrics. According to the AAP, choking is a leading cause of injury and illness among children, especially those younger than 3 years old. And, since food is one of the primary ways children can choke, the AAP wants to see specific standards in place in order to prevent choking. The AAP officially now recommends:
The AAP also states, “Pediatricians should continue to provide guidance to parents on safe and appropriate food and toy choices, as recommended by the AAP.”
The highest choking danger exists through infancy and until a child reaches approximately 5 years old. In order to be more careful at home, you should know which foods present a high choking risk, so you can judge whether they are appropriate for your child to consume. Some foods can more safely be cut into smaller pieces in order to prevent choking. Pea-sized pieces are best for toddlers. Here is a list of risky foods:
In general, practice safe eating practices in order to prevent choking, too. For instance, never let children run while eating. Sitting at a table is the safest. Also, avoid eating in the car, where it is difficult to supervise children while they are eating. Finally, always aim to supervise kids while they are eating.