Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

What foods should I avoid to prevent choking in my small child?

Many parents wonder about this very thing especially when they have toddlers who are putting everything in their mouths and have few teeth to chew them up properly.

As parents we want to offer all different kinds of foods to our growing children so they will be healthy eaters and not refuse foods that could provide them with essential nutrition. Some foods should be avoided especially when they are young.

There are some foods that can be dangerous to young children and best to opt out of offering them until later in life.

According to the National Safety Council, choking was the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in 2011 and the leading cause of injury and death in children under 4.

Foods that Could Cause Choking

There are some foods that can be scary for parents to give to young children under 5 years old especially when little mouths aren’t prepared to fully chew them up and their behavior leans toward impulsivity.

Here are some of the riskiest foods (in no particular order) for small children:

  1. Hot dogs
  2. Hard candy
  3. Round firm foods that aren’t cut like grapes and dried fruits
  4. Nuts and seeds
  5. Dog food (left in a dog dish)
  6. Raw carrots
  7. Popcorn
  8. Chunks of peanut butter
  9. Cherries with pits
  10. Gum

It is important to cut up foods into manageable pieces for young children. You can give kids hot dogs if they are cut lengthwise and then in pieces as well as grapes cut into quarters and cherries that are pitted.

Be sure kids are eating in a seated position not lying on their backs or walking when foods can become lodged in their airway.

There are of course other household items that can be choking dangers in addition to these foods so be sure to keep small round objects out of reach of your young kids.

Younger children are often given items that can cause choking by older siblings without their realizing they can be dangerous so be sure to involve everyone in the family with prevention practices.

Choking can be prevented with a few precautions and vigilance!

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