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Kids & Choking: Prevention Tips for Grandparents

April 04, 2019

Kids & Choking: Prevention Tips for Grandparents

OK, Grandma and Grandpa! You may have been out of the childcare game for a while, but now that there are little ones in the house again, it’s time to brush up on your first-aid skills! Today we’re taking a look at the risk of children choking and what you can do to prevent it.

Around the House

By the time your kids have kids of their own, it may have been decades since you last thought about baby-proofing. Really, when did you last worry about where you dropped your spare pocket change? It’s time to get back in the good habit of picking up little objects.

Choking is one of the leading causes of death among young children, and as a parent yourself, you know all too well how little kids like to put everything in their mouths. Here are some of the main household hazards kids choke on:

  • Coins
  • Pen and marker caps
  • Paper clips and other office supplies
  • Toys and marbles
  • Small disc batteries such as from toys, electronics and hearing aids
  • Balloons, a particularly fatal hazard common at childhood parties

These are just a few of the most common examples, but we encourage you to do a sweep of your house each time the grandkids are coming over for a visit. Do you have a planter with little pebbles in it? A low vanity drawer with jewelry or cosmetics that your grandchild might pull open? A basket of pet toys on the floor? Walk through your home and keep your eye out.

Food Preparation

Are you baby-sitting the grandkids while Mom and Dad head out for the evening or perhaps a weekend getaway? Let’s talk food preparation. Small household objects are a risk, but food is an even more common choking hazard. Here are some of the top foods that cause choking among children:

  • Hot dogs and sausages
  • Candy and gum
  • Nuts
  • Grapes, carrots, apples and other raw produce
  • Popcorn and pretzels
  • Peanut butter
  • Marshmallows

Sure, as a grandparent, you may want to spoil the little ones with a secret piece of candy or other treat, but it’s important to be extra careful with such foods. Keep a watchful eye over them while they eat risky foods, and remember to cut extra small portions or cook certain foods like veggies until they are soft. Encourage your grandkids to eat only with you at the table, to chew fully and to keep a drink nearby. These good habits not only prevent choking, but they also help kids develop a safe routine and good manners.

First-Aid Preparedness

As a parent yourself, you know that prevention only goes so far, and accidents can still happen. When it comes to choking, we recommend grandparents familiarize themselves with first-aid techniques.

We encourage you to read this blog post on what to do if a baby or toddler is choking, and to consider adding the Dechoker to your home. The Dechoker is an easy-to-use device that uses suction to remove an object from a choking person’s airway, a safe alternative to treatments such as abdominal thrusts that may cause injury.

Bonus Tip!

The Dechoker is not just for kids. Aside from young children, the elderly are among the people who are at the highest risk for choking emergencies. The Dechoker comes in sizes for adults and has saved the lives of many senior choking victims. If you or other members of your family may be at an increased risk of choking because of a medical condition or simply due to aging, we encourage you not to hesitate about adding this life-saving device to your home first-aid kit.

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