What is a choking hazard?
A choking hazard is any object that could be caught in a child’s throat blocking their airway and making it difficult or impossible to breathe.
Did you know that children younger than 4 years old are at the highest risk of choking?
Because they haven’t quite mastered chewing.
With some guidance and knowledge, we can significantly reduce the chances of our children choking.
How To Prevent Your Child From Choking
We’ve compiled the top choking hazards for babies and children.
Please keep in mind that this list is not inclusive.
These are just some of the foods that do pose a higher risk and that our kiddos tend to be munching on.
Choking Hazard #1Hot Dogs
Hot Dogs are number one on our list.
Why? Because they’re something you might just not think about.
They’re pretty squishy so one doesn’t automatically assume it poses a risk.
The reality is that this cookout and refrigerator staple is a hazard due to its tube shape and compressibility.
If you do choose to serve hot dogs, make sure to cut them up lengthwise and further into smaller pieces.
Choking Hazard #2 Whole Grapes
But I thought serving fruit was a good thing?
Yes! Serve and eat all the fruit, but grapes can become lodged in your child’s airways.
Cut grapes in half lengthwise and quarter them for all young children.
For babies- it’s best to remove the skin entirely.
Choking Hazard #3 Hunks of Protein
This choking hazard could easily be tied with hot dogs, but at number three on our list, it’s still pretty significant.
That piece of steak you’re passing off to your toddler should not be cut up into strips, but instead, bite-sized pieces.
The same goes for cheeses and other meats like chicken and fish.
Choking Hazard #4 Hard Candy
Not that we’re bribing our kiddos with candy for that family photo (guilty)….but if you are stick to softer or faster melting candy-like chocolate.
Hard candy even as adults can sometimes catch us off guard.
It’s best to steer clear of this one and if you do choose to serve it, be 100% prepared and do not leave your child unattended.
Choking Hazard #5 Sticky Stuff
All good things are sticky.
Okay, maybe not all, but foods such as taffy, gum, marshmallows, and even peanut butter are pretty significant choke hazards.
These foods can mold and conform themselves into your child’s airways blocking their ability to breathe.
Choking Hazard #6 Popcorn
This is one food you should be super vigilant about until the age of four or five.
Popcorn is difficult to chew and when younger toddlers are just starting to get their teeth in and mastering their ability to chew.
It’s best to avoid this one.
Choking Hazard #7 Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein and fiber, but just like hard candy, they do pose a risk largely due to a lack of molars (which help grind foods) until around the age of four.
Conclusion - Top 7 Choking Hazards for Babies
Foods offered aren’t the only risk!
While this list includes food sources be mindful of when and how your child is eating.
Avoid offering foods in the car, walking, or being active.
Take a look around your home also.
Get on your child’s level and scope out any objects in reach that pose a choking risk, such as small parts, toys, and balloons.
Your best defense against the risk of choking is to have your child sitting upright and supervised at the table.
I know, it doesn’t sound super entertaining, but we can help keep mealtime engaging, safe, and easy to clean up.
We are big fans of the kids having their own waterproof bibs, plates, and cups that are their own.
EZPZhas a plethora of plates, bowls, and cups that come in different colors to suit your and your child's taste.
How does that help with choking hazards?
Welp, a happier child is a calmer child.
The less of a struggle mealtime is - the less likely they are to get worked up and choke on foods while they’re having a meltdown.