Raising healthy children means striking a balance between protecting them from harm, while allowing them freedom to explore and develop.
Choosing safe baby equipment, and using it correctly is a great start!
Children are curious. As they develop, keeping them safe at home is an ever changing challenge. Simple precautions and supervision can help children avoid many injuries like burns or poisoning.
Tips to Prevent Choking on Food
A recent review of children's deaths due to choking on foods reported that 40 per cent of the deaths were caused by four foods weiners, candy, nuts, and grapes.
Caution in selecting food and supervising children while eating is needed for all children under age four. Children from one to two years of age are at greatest risk. The child's small airway and poor chewing and swallowing ability all increase the risk of choking. As well, young children are curious, and like to explore and try new things. Store problem foods in a safe place, out of reach and out of sight of young children.
Problem foods are small, round, or tube-shaped. If such foods are smooth or slick when wet, they slip even more easily into the airway. Foods which are spongy or easily compressed may also form a plug in the airway. Hard or tough foods should be avoided the child may bite chunks from foods such as raw carrots, but lacks molars to grind the hard pieces. Very sticky foods, such as peanut butter, may mould to the airway and be difficult to remove.
These suggestions for feeding children under age four will reduce the risk of choking on foods:
- Do not give nuts, grapes, hard candies, or chewing gum.
- Avoid crisp raw vegetables and fruit, such as carrots and carrot sticks. Offer soft or cooked fruits and vegetables instead.
- Cut weiners lengthwise first, then crosswise to form small half-circles. Some health authorities suggest that weiners not be served until age four.
- Spread peanut butter on toast or bread; do not give from a spoon.
- Remove pits from fruits such as plums and cherries.
- Offer food only when the child is seated, not when moving about. Seat the child in an upright position. Encourage the child to eat slowly and chew food well.
- If the child is sleepy during a meal, feeding should be stopped unless the child can be fully awakened.
- Be present to supervise meals and snacks, and advise other children and babysitters not to feed a toddler unless an adult is present.
- Remove bones from fish.
Reproduced with permission from the Capital Health Authority