Beware Of These Foods That Are Child Choking Hazards

Beware Of These Foods That Are Child Choking Hazards
See Gallery
Beware Of These Foods That Are Child Choking Hazards

A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics reveals that more than 12,000 children end up in the emergency room every year for choking on food. The top four foods that are choking hazards for children account for more than half of food-related choking emergency visits. Read on to learn what ten foods put your child at risk.

Image Credit: Glowimages

1. Hard Candy

Hard candy is the leading cause of choking-related incidents for children, accounting for 15.5 percent. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children under the age of four should not consume hard candies.

Image Credit: Robert Kirk

2. Other Candies including gum

Candies that are sticky or chewing gum are dangerous foods for children under the age of four, according to the AAP. The study reveals that these other types of candies cause 12.8 percent of choking incidents in children.

Image Credit: Noe Montes

3. Meat (Excluding hot dogs)

Besides hot dogs, meat products account for 12.2 percent of choking incidents. Large chunks of tough meat can block a young child's airway.

Image Credit: Tastyart Ltd Rob White

4. Bone

Bones account for 12 percent of choking incidents. A 2008 study on children's food injuries pinpoints boned chicken and fish with bones among the top culprits.

Image Credit: Foodcollection RF

5. Fruits and vegetables

Foods that are especially risky include whole grapes, raw carrots and apples. Children under the age of four are at higher risk of choking than those five and older.

Image Credit: Ursula Alters

6. Formula/Breast Milk/Milk

For children less than a year old, formula, milk and breast milk accounts for 36.3% of choking incidents.

Image Credit: Maria Toutoudaki

7. Seeds/Nuts/Shells

Small nuts and seeds are difficult to chew for young children. They can become easily lodged in a child's throat according to the AAP.

Image Credit: Creative Crop

8. Chips/Pretzels/Popcorn

Infants and toddlers should avoid light and dry foods like popcorn, potato chips and pretzels, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies.

Image Credit: Mark Lund

9. Biscuits/Cookies/Crackers

According to the New York State Department of Health, foods that clump or are sticky, slippery, dry or hard in texture are all choking hazards for children.

Image Credit: Digital Vision

10. Multiple Specified Foods

Supervise young children during meal times to make sure they are not engaging in behaviors that increase choking risk, such as running and playing, when consuming foods.

Image Credit: Anna Pekunova

Hot Dogs

While not part of the top ten, hot dogs are the eleventh most common choking hazard. Its shape can completely block the airway, and it is the food most commonly associated with fatal choking incidents among children.

Image Credit: Glowimages


A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics reveals that more than 12,000 children end up in the emergency room every year for choking on food and 60 percent of cases involve children ages four and under. Children under the age of one were at greatest risk, accounting for 37.8 percent of all cases.

Researchers used data collected over a nine-year period from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance system and examined choking-related cases hospital visits for children ages 0 to 14. They discovered nearly 112,000 cases for non-fatal food choking; in the majority of these cases the patients were treated and released, while ten percent required hospitalization.

Candy is the leading choking hazard; hard candy accounts for 15.5 percent of cases, and other types of candy and gum accounts for 12.8 percent of cases. Meat (excluding hot dogs), bones, and fruits and vegetables follow as popular food hazards.

In cases that involved hospitalization, top culprits include nuts, seeds and hot dogs. Leading researcher Dr. Gary Smith of the Center of Injury Research and Policy says these foods are high-risk because they are hard to chew and are more likely to block a child's airway, according to an NBC report.

The American Academy of Pediatrics shares these choking prevention tips for children:

  • Cut food for babies and young children into pieces no larger than half an inch.
  • Young children should avoid high-risk foods like grapes, hot dogs, raw carrots and peanuts.
  • Supervise meal times to make sure children chew their food and are properly seated while eating. Running, walking, playing or lying down while eating can lead to choking.

Check out the slideshow above to learn the top ten foods that put your child at risk of choking.

More From Kitchen Daily:
11 Worst Drinks For Your Body
9 Common Foods That Contain Toxic Ingredients
The Best Superfoods and How To Use Them

Read Full Story