Choking is a common cause of Emergency Room visits for young children. Nearly two thirds of choking episodes are associated with foods. Choking on food causes the death of approximately one child in the United States every 5 days. Hot dogs account for 17% of choking episodes related to food. Hard candy, peanuts, whole grapes, raw carrots, apples, popcorn, chunks of peanut butter marshmallows, chewing gum and sausages cause choking too. Of non-food causes of choking, latex balloons are leading trouble-makers. In addition to balloons, small, round or cylindrical toys can block small air tubes.
Keep choking hazards away from children. Be sure you know how to give first aid for choking to infants, toddlers and preschool age children. Help caregivers/teachers and families reduce the risk of exposure of young children to hazardous foods and toys. Use the attached fact sheet as a poster or handout. Reviewed and reaffirmed 4-2019.