Ways to Prevent Your Kids From Choking
Ways to Prevent Your Kids From Choking
These May Just Save Your Life
Moms worry. It’s in our nature, how we are wired. I honestly think there is no way to fix this problem. Maybe it’s even a good problem to have…when it’s kept in check. One thing we all worry about, is choking.
As parents its our job to protect our children. The things that keep us up at night aren’t usually the fear that we can control, but the things we have no control of. Monitoring our children on technology. Keeping an eye on them at the park. Making sure they get on the school bus…these are all things we can typically control, and offer our protection.
But then there’s that fear that we all have, that seems totally out of our hands all together. Choking!
If you have ever witnessed a person choking, or have choked on something yourself, it is positively terrifying! That feeling of not being able to breath and not being able to cough up whatever is blocking your airway is one of the worst feelings in the world.
Little children put everything into their mouths. They will literally eat lint off the floor, or something nasty your dog brought in. Because they have the inclination to taste everything, they are prone to accidents, and choking accidents can be the scariest!
My youngest son had to have surgery when he was only 11 months old. I remember distinctly being in the pediatric general surgeons office and being horrified at the items he had on his walls. It wasn’t because they were inappropriate or disgusting. It’s because they were all of things he has surgically removed from different kids bodies over the years. Bouncy balls, coins, food, etc.
Little kids aren’t the only ones prone to choking though. No one is immune to the possibility.
It’s an unfortunate catastrophe you simply cannot rid of this world. However, you can do your best to prevent it from happening.
This has been a topic of concern for me since I had my first baby 12 years ago. I had no idea that babies would put anything in their mouths to the degree I saw mine do it the first time. It was terrifying!
Foods That Are the Biggest Choking Hazards for Children
- Hot dogs
- Nuts and seeds
- Chunks of meat or cheese
- Candy (hard, sticky, gooey)
- Peanut butter
- Raw vegetables
When researching this topic the same few foods come up over and over again. Hot dogs, carrots, apples, grapes. These foods can easily cause an issue for anyone, but children are especially prone because they have smaller throats than adults do.
Ways to Prevent Choking
- Chop up food to small bite sized pieces. Hot dogs can safely be consumed by children, but they should be diced, not just cut up, and especially not put in a bun and eaten whole. A hot dog is literally the perfect shape and size to block the airway if not chewed properly. Little kids get distracted, or excited and this can easily get lodged in their throats. The best way to cut a hot dog is length wise and then cut dice those two sections that you have. This will make nice small pieces. Grapes and raw veggies are the same. Dice them very small
- Make your children sit to eat. It can be tempting to let little ones play while they are eating (and sometimes there is no way around this). But sitting still while they eat can be a good life lesson anyways. Kids should learn to sit and be still at certain times, and meal time should be no exception. If they are sitting and not goofing off, or running around, they are less likely to choke on their food.
- Use cooked vegetables for small children. Raw veggies are wonderful and full of great vitamins. But if you have a small child, or one prone to choking, sticking with cooked vegetables may be the safest bet. If you do raw veggies still, just be sure you are chopping them up into little pieces.
- Keep small objects out of their reach. Legos, bouncy balls, coins, Shopkins, Barbie accessories, these are all items that could be dangerous for a little one to get their hands on. If you have a wide range of ages in your home and you find this prevention tip too hard, try to come up with a way to keep the smaller items organized and kept in the bedrooms, or somewhere the little one won’t be.
At least one child dies every five days in the U.S. from choking.
That’s an astonishingly high number of children who have lost and will lose their lives from something so tragically preventable. I’m in no way saying it’s possible to keep your house a safe zone from all choking hazards, because it is not! While it is beneficial to do what you can to keep smaller items out of a child’s reach, it’s not possible 24/7/365.
Life happens. People get busy and don’t pay close enough attention. A babysitter may be texting on her phone and not notice.
What You Should Do if Someone is Choking
If you or your child does choke, what do you do? The obvious answer if the Heimlich maneuver. But this does not always work. One of the coolest products I have seen in a very long time is a product called LifeVac. This is a brand new lifesaving device that can be used by anyone if choking should occur. You can even use this on yourself if no one else is around.
LifeVac works suctioning whatever is stuck in your throat out, using air. It is safe, it’s effective, and it’s worth every penny.
LifeVac is a great idea for a baby shower gift. For an elderly person. Anyone who lives alone. Anyone with children. It really is the perfect item to have on hand, just like a fire extinguisher…it’s an “insurance policy” for the tragic what-if’s.