By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, every five days a child dies in the United States from choking on food. That makes choking the number one cause of death for children under fourteen, although children under four are most at risk.
The group is now calling on legislators and manufacturers to put in place a system of labeling certain high-risk foods to warn parents of choking risks. It points out that there are many laws and regulations aimed at preventing children form choking on toys, but no consistent program for labeling foods that pose the same type of risk. In addition to lack of regulations, there is also no central repository for data on childhood deaths caused by choking on food. The Academy would like to see that change, as well.
Certain types of foods are more likely for kids to choke on. These foods are usually cylindrical and about the size of a child’s throat. Foods mentioned specifically included hot dogs, grapes, baby carrots, apples and peanuts. The Academy has released some tips for parents to deal with risky foods:
• Cut the food into smaller pieces so it is not the right size to block the child’s throat. This includes cutting hotdogs lengthwise and grapes into quarters.
• Don’t give small children hard to chew foods like hard candies, nuts and baby carrots.
• Keep children in an upright seated position when eating.
Read more about the American Academy of Pediatrics’ initiative to prevent childhood food choking at Labels urged for foods that can choke kids.