Children four and under run the greatest risk for choking. Any food that blocks a child's small airway and cuts off her oxygen supply can lead to death. Some foods are more dangerous than others. Slippery food or foods that are hard, round, and don't dissolve easily in saliva are a kid's worst nightmare.
Aside from avoiding dangerous foods, watching children closely when they eat helps, too. Never leave a youngster unattended when he is eating. Kids can choke when they overstuff their mouths, or when they run around with a mouth full of food. Don't let children eat in the car, either. There may be no way for you to help a youngster dislodge food from his throat during a car ride, especially if you are the only adult present.
Help keep kids out of harm's way by avoiding the following foods. Read the list carefully. Chances are, some hazardous foods will come as a big surprise.
- Snack chips and puffs
- Raw carrots
- Raisins and other small dried fruit such as cranberries, blueberries, and cherries
- Whole grapes*
- Fresh or frozen blueberries
- Melon balls
- Large chunks of meat, poultry, and hot dogs*
- Peanut butter and other nut butters
- Hard candy and cough drops
- Chewing gum
- Gumdrops and other soft jelly candies
- Gummy bears and other hard jelly candies