Preventing Others from Choking

  • Never purchase (or consume) gel candies.
  • Never give a raw carrot to an infant as a “soother” for “teething”.
  • Please don’t give nuts or crispy fruits or vegetables to children until they are at least 3 years old (and able to chew and swallow crusty bread without choking).
  • Cut hot dogs lengthwise twice, until children are at least 5 years old (and able to chew and swallow small pieces of soft meat without choking). Please also cut whole grapes, cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, large blueberries, chunks of mango and other bulky fruit into small pieces.
  • Be careful when preparing and eating fish and poultry. Remove as many bones as possible and check for bones with your tongue, before each swallow.
  • At “movie time” — remove those unpopped popcorn kernels at the bottom of the bowl (either place fully popped kernels into another bowl or use the “Kernel Katcher”).
  • Please “childproof” homes and daycares (especially for toddlers, who like to explore their environment with their hands and mouth).
  • Don’t let children play with disc batteries or mini magnets!
  • Don’t let young children play with coins, sewing kits, tool boxes (hardware containers) or games designed for older children (containing small parts). Please keep all choking hazards out of reach.
  • A “Small Parts Cylinder” (available at many toy stores) can help determine whether an object poses a major choking risk. Objects which pass through this cylinder (or an empty toilet paper roll) should be kept out of reach of small children.[Ref:22][Ref:42]
  • Extra caution should be used during birthday parties, backyard barbecues and holiday celebrations, to keep choking hazards out of reach of toddlers.
  • Keep alkaline hair products (such as “activators” or “relaxers”) and other caustic liquids, gels and powders (including dishwasher detergent) out of the reach of children.[Ref:15]
  • Keep ammonia capsules out of first aid kits.[Ref:16]
  • Be careful when toddlers are playing outdoors; children have inhaled pine needles, small rocks and certain grasses, which can be very dangerous.[Ref:14][Ref:17][Ref:21]
  • Set a good example for others by never holding pencaps, pins, needles or other hardware between your lips; nor exercising with gum or candy in your mouth.
  • Discourage others from entering eating competitions or playing dangerous games with food. See the end of Prevent Yourself from Choking for more info.
  • Please take a life-saving (or baby-sitting) course!

Did You Know?!

In the European Union each year, an estimated 50,000 children (14 years or younger) have a choking episode.[Ref:34]