We all do our best to protect children from recognizable choking hazards such as balloons, batteries, coins and small toys with removable parts.

However, we may not be as well aware of the choking dangers of some foods that should be avoided for younger children, especially those under the age of 4 years because they:

  • are still developing safe eating habits,
  • have small airways,
  • have poor chewing and swallowing habits and
  • often don’t understand the dangers associated with consuming food.

Here are examples of some of the foods that should be avoided when children are 4 years of age and under:

  • Hot Dogs/Sausages
  • Grapes
  • Hard or rubbery candies
  • Raw carrots, peas and celery
  • Nuts
  • Seeds (watermelon, sunflower)
  • Popcorn, especially when there may be unpopped kernels
  • Fruit with pits
  • Hard fruits (apples, pears)

 Some tips for helping children to eat safely are as follows:

  • With children under the age of 4 years, foods should be cut into smaller pieces to minimize the risk of an airway obstruction.
  • Foods such as grapes and hot dogs are of particular concern so these should be cut lengthwise into smaller pieces.
  • Children should sit quietly when eating – running or jumping may increase the risk of airway obstruction.
  • Teach children to take small bites and chew thoroughly before swallowing.
  • Talking and laughing should always be avoided when there is food in a child’s mouth.

Parents and caregivers can take a basic cardiac life support or life saving course which is offered by organizations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Red Cross, the Lifesaving Society, and St. John’s Ambulance.

Please click on the following websites for more info about choking hazards and prevention:

Happy Safe Eating!

Protect Children From Choking Dangers of Some Foods; Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario

Protect Children From Choking Dangers of Some Foods; Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario

Ontario, Canada: Newsroom

News Release

Public Safety Reminder from the Chief Coroner for Ontario

August 19, 2011

Dr. Andrew McCallum, Chief Coroner for Ontario would like to remind all Ontarians of choking dangers that some foods pose to children.

While most people are generally well aware of the danger that objects such as balloons, batteries, coins and small toys with removable parts pose to children, food is sometimes not recognized as a hazard.

Younger children, especially those under the age of 4 years are particularly vulnerable as they are still developing safe eating habits, have small airways, have poor chewing and swallowing habits and often don’t understand the dangers associated with consuming food.

The following are examples of some of the foods that should be avoided when children are 4 years of age and under:

  • Hot Dogs/Sausages
  • Grapes
  • Hard or rubbery candies
  • Raw carrots, peas and celery
  • Nuts
  • Seeds (watermelon, sunflower)
  • Popcorn, especially when there may be unpopped kernels
  • Fruit with pits
  • Hard fruits (apples, pears)

With children under the age of 4 years, foods should be cut into smaller pieces to minimize the risk of an airway obstruction. Foods such as grapes and hot dogs are of particular concern so these should be cut lengthwise into smaller pieces.Learning to eat safely is a life skill. Parents and caregivers of children are reminded of the following tips when teaching children to eat safely:

  • Children should sit quietly when eating – running or jumping may increase the risk of airway obstruction.
  • Teach children to take small bites and chew thoroughly before swallowing.
  • Talking and laughing should always be avoided when there is food in a child’s mouth.

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to take a basic cardiac life support or life saving course. Courses are offered by organizations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Red Cross, the Lifesaving Society, and St. John’s Ambulance.To learn more about choking hazards and prevention, please visit: www.kidshealth.org or www.safekidscanada.ca

CONTACT

Dr. Andrew McCallum
Chief Coroner for Ontario, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
416-314-4008

Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
ontario.ca/safety

Leave a Reply