Child Choking Hazards and Prevention

There are so many dangers that our children are exposed to on a daily basis. As parents, we try our best to keep them from harm. However, it’s not always possible to keep them from harm when sometime we don’t even know what is harming them. One of the biggest problems children have is choking. There are many things that can make children choke. However, with proper care and preventive measures, it can be handled. But, if not taken care of, airway obstruction can be a cause of death in children.

Choking occurs when small objects get caught in the throat or blocks the airways. This prevents oxygen from travelling to the lungs and brain. Without oxygen for as less as four minutes, children can die.

Since young children put almost everything in their mouth by habit, it makes the adults’ job of preventing harm even more difficult. How many things can you keep away from your child? When they are that young, their airways are also smaller and the chance of getting things stuck is also higher.

As a parent, the first thing you have to do is to understand the two categories of harmful choking devices. The first is food. If a child does not chew or bite into his food properly, even harmless food like grapes and hot dogs can prove to be fatal. Once your child is transitioning from liquid to solid foods, it is advisable to cut the food into pieces that are no longer than half an inch. Also, teach your child to chew the food well. When they are young, supervise as they eat and do not allow them to run around and eat. Ensure that they sit in one place, preferably in front of you and eat.

There are quite a number of foods that should not be given to children under the age of four. They include: whole grapes, hard candy, popcorn, peanut butter, large marshmallows, dried apricots, cherries with pits, cherry tomatoes, nuts and seeds, chunks of meat or cheese, raw vegetables, fruit chunks, such as apple chunks, chewing gum or any items that are round and hard.

While food may be the easier part to control, it is the other items that your child may come into contact on a daily basis that can prove to be hazardous. Children are curious. At a young age, curiosity often leads to putting things besides food into your mouth. Toys are at times the cause for choking accidents in children. It is easy to find toys that are small and can easily fit into a child mouth. Also, if they are bigger toys, they will have small parts. Even the means of amusement like marbles are tempting for a young child to put in his or her mouth.

Besides toys which are meant for children to play with, there are household items that children are exposed to on a daily basis. Items like coins, medicines, pen caps, batteries and the like are choking hazards. They should be kept away from children in places that cannot be reached easily. This may also mean that as a parent you will occasionally have to check the house time after time to ensure that the house is choking free.

While we can’t always be with our kids we should let them know at a tender age that if it’s not food it doesn’t belong in the mouth. This will help them from choking on objects because of their curiosity.

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