Has your little one ever choked on a piece of sandwich or a grape? A new study explored just how common food-related choking injuries are in children – and the results may surprise you.
Every day, an average of 34 children in the United States are treated in the emergency for a non-fatal choking involving food (12,435 per year). More than 60% of those cases are children under the age of four.
What’s the most dangerous food? Hard candy.
In the course of the study, which was published in the August issue of Pediatrics, researchers identified the top five causes of non-fatal food choking.
Hard Candy – 15.5%
Other Candy – 12.8%
Meat Other Than Hot Dogs – 12.2%
Bone – 12%
Fruits and Vegetables – 9.7%
While only 2.6% of incidents involved hot dogs, researchers noted that they are in a different (and more dangerous) category. Because hot dogs are a type of high-risk food which can completely block the airway of a small child, they are more likely to be involved in choking cases that result in death.
So what should parents do to keep their children safe? The American Academy of Pediatrics offers extensive guidelines on foods to avoid and other choking prevention strategies here.
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