Baby and Toddlers – Choking Hazards

After your toddler gives up their pureed baby food, they are going to have more grown up textures. With a rapidly increasing compliment of teeth, they are ready to enter a whole new world of eating experiences. Even at this time there is still some food that should remain off limits to your toddler because they can be choking hazards.

There may be several factors combined to make your toddler more subject to choking on food than older children and adults. Even once they have a full set of teeth, their chewing and swallowing are still immature; they are also very likely to gulp food when they are eager to get back to playing. Sometimes they are inclined to eat while they are running.

To minimize choking risks, you should keep the following foods off limits to your toddler, with a few exceptions: hot dogs, unless you cut then lengthwise before cutting them crosswise. Hard candies and marshmallows, nuts (especially peanuts), grapes and cherries, unless you remove skin and seeds to reduce the risk. Firm cookies or biscuits; you should choose the melt in your mouth varieties. Whole raw carrots, unless you them cut into slivers, the same thing with apples. Other foods that have a high risk of choking is popcorn, peanut butter by the spoon, beans and chickpeas (unless mashed), raw celery and hard raisins.

You can further reduce the risk of choking by insisting that your toddler eat sitting down. Eating while running and even walking, playing, lying down, or semi-reclining, can present a choking hazard. Since almost any food, including breads and pastas, can cause choking; all toddlers should be supervised while eating. You should prohibit your toddler from eating any food that can be choked on while in the car, especially if there isn’t aa adult present, other than the driver, who could possibly handle a choking incident. You should be extra cautious when you have applied teething gel to numb the gums. Until the anesthetic effects wear off, your child will not be able to chew normally: so only soft foods should be offered. You also need to discourage talking or laughing with their mouth full. This rule will be easier to enforce if everyone in the family follows it.

Even with these precautions a toddler may still get into trouble with choking. If your toddler is still coughing, breathing and crying, you should not interfere, however if they have been coughing forcibly for more than two to three minutes, then you need to call 911. If they become silent and are struggling for breath then it is time to start rescue efforts.

First of all, if someone else is with you have them call 911 for medical assistance. Call 911 as well if you are unfamiliar with the rescue procedures, you should have them on the line even if you are familiar with the procedure just in case something happens. If your child is awake then you need to kneel behind your child and wrap your arms around their waist. Make a fist with one hand and place the thumb side down in the center of the body, slightly above the navel and well below the rib cage. Grab your positioned fist with your other hand and press it into your child‘s abdomen with a quick inward and upward thrust. Each of these thrust should be a separate and distinct movement. Repeat this up to five times or when the object is ejected and your child is breathing normally.

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