Injury Prevention Worldwide

There is a relatively low awareness about the dangers of choking hazards, despite the morbidity and mortality they cause.

Top 4 Causes of Accidental Childhood Death, in Canada[Ref:512]

  1. Motor Vehicles (17%)
  2. Water / Drowning (15%)
  3. Choking Hazards (11%)
  4. Fire / Burns (10%)

We support efforts to decrease all accidental injuries, especially those in children. Please see the current UNICEF global injury prevention campaign poster (below).

It is difficult to find accurate world statistics on the number of deaths caused by choking hazards (upper aerodigestive foreign bodies). This is because choking hazard statistics are often combined with statistics on death by poisoning, venomous bites and / or suffocation and strangulation.[Ref:1519]

Ideally, the morbidity and mortality from choking hazards would be reported systematically by every country, every year. Then the impact of public health interventions (such as this educational website) could be analyzed scientifically.

Since 2000, European Union countries have used the Susy Safe Web-Registry,[Ref:1476] to systematically gather childhood choking statistics. Led Dr. Dario Gregori of the University of Padova (Italy), investigators from around Europe, as well as South Africa, Thailand and the Americas are now collaborating to learn more about the epidemiology of childhood foreign body choking injuries.

Recent United States Statistics

In a 2004 report, U.S. Attorney A. Sperling stated that in the United States every year, 150 children die from choking — and 10,000 children per year were brought to Emergency Rooms because of choking injuries.

In 2011, a US National Safety Council report stated that choking caused 4,500 deaths (amongst all ages) in the United States in 2009.[Ref:1819]

A 2013 report stated that, from 2001 to 2009, an average of 12,435 children (14 years old or younger) per year were treated in US Emergency Rooms because of food-related choking.[Ref:375]

Did You Know?!

In the European Union each year, approximately 20 children (14 years or younger) die from choking on a toy.[Ref:1476]