As a mom or dad, there is nothing worse than seeing your toddler choke. You feel helpless, out of control and sometimes paralyzed with fear.
Most parents look for the most obvious things that can cause a child under the age of 3 to choke, such as balloons and small objects, and for the most part, we do keep all choking hazards away from young children, but there are a few foods we may give our children without realizing they are in fact a choking hazard.
If it’s never happened to you, then consider yourself one of the lucky ones. If you did go through the experience of watching your child choke, you may want to read about the types of foods that can cause your toddler to choke.
These are the top 3 types of foods that will present a choking hazard for your toddler:
Sticky foods. Everyone loves food that’s sticky, but they can contribute to choking. It doesn’t necessarily mean all children will choke, because each child is different, but heed with caution when giving them these items.
- Peanut butter
- Gummy bears, worms, etc..
- Dried fruits (raisins)
- Fruit rolls
- Whole grapes. (cut them in 1/2 and if you can, remove the skin)
- Hot dogs (Personally, I don’t think anyone in the free world should eat a hot dog, but if you do and you give your kid one, peel the casing off and make the pieces really small).
- Hard candies and lollipops
- Ice cubes. Believe it or not, an ice cube can get lodged in your child’s throat. I’ve had it happen to me on many occasions, and I’m an adult.
Hard foods. You can feed these to children under 3, but don’t give them a whole piece or slice. Cut it up into small pieces. I’m sure I’m telling you anything you don’t know, but I’d rather be safe than sorry and just put it out there.
- Raw carrots, celery, peas
- Apples, pears, cherries with pits (remove the pits please)
- Corn kernels (the outer shell can get lodged in their throats)
The most important thing when it comes to food safety for children under the age of 3 is, to always watch small children as they’re eating. Don’t let them run around with a lollipop in their mouth, and please make sure they’re sitting down while eating. I know you probably know that, but as a mother and grandmother, I had to put it out there again.
Be trained in first aid
I’m a firm believer that all parents should know Basic Life Support in the rare case your child may have food lodged in their throats. My mother always taught me to smack my kids on the back as this was supposed to dislodge the food, but we know now that was a big pile of bologna. Basic Life Support (BLS) aka CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) classes is available for anyone to take. A lot of times your local schools, churches or synagogues will offer adult education courses. CPR training is usually a mainstay with all adult education programs. If you’re unable to locate a location training center, head on over to the American Heart Association’s website for more information and to find an accredited trainer or local class.
If you find your child or anyone for that matter choking, please remember to call 9-1-1. If you’re unsure what to do, the dispatcher will guide you through the process. Please remember to be calm. I know that’s easier said than done, I’ve been there, but the key to everyone’s survival is to remain calm.
I’m curious to find out if any of these choking hazards are new to you, or if you’ve already known about all of them. Peanut butter is the one that really floored me. In a million years, I would have never thought of that as a choking hazard.
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Until we meet again,