Saturday, September 11, 2010

Choking Hazards

For the record, here's some information on choking hazards.
Here are some additional suggestions for preventing choking.

• Don’t give young children hard, smooth foods (i.e., peanuts, raw vegetables) that must be chewed with a grinding motion. Children don’t master that kind of chewing until age four, so they may attempt to swallow the food whole. Do not give peanuts to children until age seven or older.
• Don’t give your child round, firm foods (like hot dogs and carrot sticks) unless they are chopped completely. Cut or break food into bite-size pieces (no larger than ½ inch [1.27 cm]) and encourage your child to chew thoroughly.
• Supervise mealtime for your infant or young child. Don’t let her eat while playing or running. Teach her to chew and swallow her food before talking or laughing.
• Chewing gum is inappropriate for young children.

Because young children put everything into their mouths, small non-food objects are also responsible for many choking incidents. Look for age guidelines in selecting toys, but use your own judgment concerning your child. Also be aware that certain objects have been associated with choking, including uninflated or broken balloons; baby powder; items from the trash (e.g., eggshells, pop-tops from beverage cans); safety pins; coins; marbles; small balls; pen or marker caps; small, button- type batteries; hard, gooey, or sticky candy or vitamins; grapes; and popcorn. If you’re unsure whether an object or food item could be harmful, you can purchase a standard small-parts cylinder at juvenile products stores or test toys using a toilet paper roll, which has a diameter of approximately 1¾ inches.

From Choking Prevention

Pediatricians call for a choke-proof hot dog

Foods That Choke Infants by the American Academy of Pediatrics

Tear away necklaces are actually not bad for babies to wear, so long as the baby is monitored when wearing it. Regular necklaces are a strangulation hazard, as is any cord that is long enough to wrap around a baby's neck.

If you post pictures of something that looks controversial questionable at 9 a.m. and get many comments (only from naysayers, of course - no reasonable reader would question a necklace on a newborn who has many small siblings) questioning the safety of a necklace around a baby's neck, you should probably not wait 28 hours to let said readers naysayers know the safety features of said necklace. They might worry needlessly.