Common Choking Hazards in the Summer | First Aid Kit | Dechoker

How to Prevent Choking: 5 Tips Everyone Should Know.

January 03, 2020

Looking for a few ways to protect yourself, family, and your children from choking? Here are five tips on how to prevent choking everyone should know.

Accidental choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death. Though anybody can choke, children and the elderly face the most risk.

In only minutes, a lack of air to the brain can change or end a person's life. So, parents should learn how to prevent choking avoid tragedy in their home. 

5 Actions for How to Prevent Choking

Kids love to put things into their mouths, especially when they shouldn't. Because of this, one child chokes every 5 days.

Never underestimate the power of prevention, especially when it involves your little ones. Kids under 5 years old fall into the hazard age. Keep reading to learn 5 choking prevention tips to keep your toddler safe.

1. Watch What They Eat

Keep a close eye on what you, and others, feed your toddler. Some seemingly harmless, and even healthy foods can hurt your child.

For instance, do you know about the popcorn choking hazard? You should not give a child under the age of 4/5 popcorn, nuts, or seeds, because they need all of their molars to properly grind it.

Hot dogs also pose a risk. A hot dog can completely block the small airway in children. For safety, slice it in half longways and then cut those halves into thin chunks. 

Whole grapes can also block a little windpipe. Peel and quarter grapes for your little one to safely enjoy them.

Peanut butter may seem harmless. But, avoid it in the younger years as the globby texture can stick in the throat the same way that gum, taffy, or hard candy can.

Of course, you want your child to eat a healthy and balanced variety of foods. Always cut them into tiny, manageable pieces to avoid choking.

2. Make Meal Rules

Always make your child sit upright when they eat. Walking around or laying back creates risk.

Also, encourage them to chew enough. You may want to create a fun song to the tune of "Are Your Sleeping" that you sing while they chew, and swallow when you finish.

Lastly, no talking or singing with food in your mouth. It takes one good to inhale to lodge food in the throat.

3. Give Them Age-Appropriate Toys

Sometimes, we ignore the age warning on toys, because something seems cool. But, age restrictions give you a heads up about toddler choking hazards.

Other times, no warning label exists. As a parent, you must take on the due diligence of screening playthings.

If your child tends to chew on things, only give them toys that will not fit into their mouths. Stuffed animals may seem safe, but can pose a threat if they contain marble-like eyes.

4. Skip Party Balloons

This may sound crazy. But, you can use banners, posters, and cardboard cutouts to decorate for a toddler party.

When balloons pop, they may end up on the floor where a little one can snag it. The smooth latex can conform to the throat and stick, creating a serious choking hazard.

5. Watch Them Closely

Children can, and will, find things on the ground. Pebbles, sticks, batteries, paper clips, and other small items can lodge in their throat, so watch them closely.

Nobody can watch somebody 24/7. So, create a clean, enclosed play space for your little one to safely roam when you are busy. 

Prepare for the Worst

Learning how to prevent choking saves lives. But, even the best efforts can sometimes fail. Here's more on what to do if your infant or toddler is choking.

Prepare your family for a choking incident. Invest in a life-saving anti-choking device to add to your first aid kit and prevent choking emergencies.

The Dechoker device is available based on age and relative size, including for toddlers, children, and adults. The anti-choking device can be used for choking first aid on anyone, regardless of age, illness, disorder, or other health-related condition.

With little training, the Dechoker can help anyone prevent accidental choking deaths. Learn more about how the Dechoker works here.

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