How to Avoid Choking Hazards

child crawling with adult in background

Anything a child eats or drinks has the potential to cause choking. Babies and small children are especially susceptible to dangers that can impede the flow of air to their lungs. They are naturally curious; tactile sensations are a real part of their development. Babies love to put things in their mouths. Our homes have many hazards that are attractive to little fingers and mouths.

Parents, grandparents and other caregivers should inspect their homes for small items on which little ones could choke. Look under beds, sofas, chairs and tables for small items that might be out of your view.

Here are a few more tips to prevent choking.

  • Find safe storage places for coins, beads, buttons, batteries, pins, pens and magnets.
  • Find safe places for remote controls so they remain out of reach. Batteries pose both choking and poisoning hazards.
  • Secure medications and vitamins in locked cabinets.
  • Keep kitchen spices like cinnamon out of reach because of a risk for choking and aspiration.
  • Look at the shape of the foods baby is eating. Foods such as grapes, cherry tomatoes and hot dogs can easily lodge in a baby’s airway. Cut them into very small pieces.
  • Avoid foods like nuts, seeds and popcorn.
  • Never allow a baby or child to suck on hard candy or cough drops.
  • Never allow baby or small children to walk or run with food in their mouths.
  • Make sure toys are age-appropriate and don’t have small parts,