The 10 Biggest Choking Hazards
By LAURIE TARKAN
According to a 2008 study, the 10 foods that pose the highest choking hazards for young children are hot dogs, peanuts, carrots, boned chicken, candy, meat, popcorn, fish with bones, sunflower seeds and apples.
Dr. Gary Smith, the lead author of American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement on food hazards, says some foods should simply not be given to children under 4 or 5: he mentioned raw carrots, marshmallows, peanuts, popcorn, hard candies and gumballs.
If feeding a young child a hot dog, he said, cut it lengthwise before slicing it. (Simply slicing it into nickel-size chunks makes it more dangerous than not slicing it at all.) Cut grapes into quarters. Flat lollipops are safer than ball-shaped suckers.
If a child is choking, call 911 — time is of the essence. Health authorities also recommend acting quickly to remove the object. If a child is more than 1 year old, perform the Heimlich maneuver. If the child is younger than 1, rest the child face down on your knee and slap the back between the shoulder blades five times.
“It’s important that all caregivers are CPR-certified,” said Erika Bleiberg, an emergency medical technician in Glen Ridge, N.J., who is a certified CPR instructor. “Even if the E.M.T. is there within three minutes, that’s a lot of time for a little brain to not have oxygen.” LAURIE TARKAN
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: May 27, 2010
Because of an editing error, an article on Tuesday about the top 10 choking hazards for children omitted some steps to take if a child is choking and seems unable to cough out the obstruction. Besides having someone call 911, the health authorities recommend acting quickly to remove the object. If a child is more than 1 year old, perform the Heimlich maneuver. If the child is younger than 1, rest the child face down on your knee and slap the back between the shoulder blades five times. More information can be found at healthychildren.org.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
The 10 Biggest Choking Hazards - NYTimes.com