Common choking hazards for babies and children
Choking hazard safety tips
Your little bub is now eating solids (when did that happen?) or on the move (no, seriously where has the time gone?). These are exciting parenting milestones that will have your camera roll filling up fast with snaps and videos. Now I don't want to scare anyone, but these experiences also mean that it's time to fill the Mum brain with some choking hazard safety tips.
Megan Vecht is an experienced paediatric nurse and owner of Save a Kid, where she provides infant and child first aid sessions in Melbourne and Bendigo. In this article, Megan shares common choking hazards for babies and children and simple tips to eliminate or avoid these hazards.
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Written by Megan Vecht - owner of Save a Kid - Infant and Child First Aid
Because of their inquisitive nature and tendency to shove everything they come across in their mouths, children under 5 are at the greatest risk of choking.
Kids airways are round and narrow and they can't chew properly, so it's important to think about the shape and texture of foods we give them.
Always cut round and cylinder shaped foods longways (think grapes and frankfurts).
Soft sticky foods and foods that are hard or have a skin can be hazardous. Consider grating, grinding or cooking hard foods, and chopping dense things like meat up into small pieces.
TOYS & HOUSEHOLD ITEMS As with food, think about the shape of toys and common household items you have laying around (especially if you have older kids...ugh).
Coins are one of the most common choking hazards for children.
Button batteries can be fatal as little as 2 hours after ingestion, so be aware of things like remotes, toys and thermometers that may use them.
Plastic shopping and dry cleaning bags should be tied in a knot before storing them to stop kids putting them over their heads.
IMPORTANT ADVICE Choking is silent, so supervision whilst eating and playing is really important. It’s tempting to get stuff done when kids are settled and eating in their highchair (i.e trapped and can’t interrupt you), but someone with a complete airway obstruction can’t make a sound - so can’t call out for help.
Make sure you and those looking after your kids know how to respond to a choking child, and how to do CPR. Visit Save a Kid to book into a public or private session to learn more about what to do if your child was choking.
ABOUT SAVE A KID
We run first aid sessions for parents, to pass on life saving skills like CPR and choking first aid, as well as how to handle common illness and injury kids will most likely encounter at some point. We want to leave parents with the confidence to look after their kids when they’re sick or injured, and enable them to make informed decisions about their health and safety.
Business owner: Megan Vecht
Coffee order: Extra shot anything!