The 8 Best Ways to Prevent Your Baby From Choking

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by Dr. Christopher Haines

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03.18.2022

The 8 Best Ways to Prevent Your Baby From Choking | Kids Health Secrets & BlueEmerald Wellness

Kids Health Secrets | Blue Emerald Wellness

x-ray of child['s chest

Choking is a common danger for babies and toddlers. Here are eight great ways to prevent your child from choking.

As a parent, you’re always on guard for potential dangers. It’s natural to worry about the safety of your children and what they might put in their mouths. The highest risk time for choking is ages 0-12 months old, so it’s important to be especially vigilant during this time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), choking is the fifth leading cause of unintentional death in children under five years old. Every year in the United States, there are about 17 deaths from choking in children aged 14 years or younger. One of the most common accidents that parents fear is choking – but there are ways that you can prevent it! This article will outline 8 steps to keep your baby/toddler/child safe from choking.

1) Position

Make sure your baby/toddler/child is sitting up and facing forward when eating. This will help them to chew and swallow food properly.

2) Food Selection

Avoid giving your baby/toddler/child, hard foods that can easily get stuck in their throat, such as nuts, seeds, or candy.

piles of nuts and seeds

High Risk Foods:

  • Fruits/Vegetables
  1. Cooked/raw uncut corn kernels
  2. Uncut cherry or grape tomatoes
  3. Hard raw vegetables
  4. Whole pieces of canned fruit
  5. Uncut grapes, cherries, melon balls
  • Proteins
  1. Whole/chopped nuts or seeds
  2. Chunks/spoonfuls of nut butter
  3. Large chunks of meat
  4. Hot dogs, meat sticks, sausages
  5. Large chunks of cheese
  6. Bones in meat or fish
  • Grains
  1. Granola bars
  2. Popcorn
  3. Breads/crackers with seeds
  4. Wheat germ
  • Candy
  1. Chewing gum
  2. Chewy fruit snacks
  3. Marshmallows
  4. Hard candy

3) Cutting Food

Cut food into small pieces so that they are easier to chew and swallow.

4) Supervision

Always supervise your baby/toddler/child when they are eating. If they start to choke, calmly and gently pat their back until the object is dislodged. If this doesn’t work, call for help.

5) Avoid Lying Down

baby drinking a bottle on their back

Avoid giving your baby/toddler/child drinks or food while they are lying down. This can make them choke more easily.

6) Non-food Objects

Do not let your baby/toddler/child put anything in their mouth that is not food. This includes toys, coins, or other small objects. Other objects to be vigilant with include button batteries, which are extremely dangerous to ingest.

High Risk Non-Food Objects:

button batteries

Button batteries, magnets or coins that can be swallowed and cause serious internal damage and should be urgently evaluated by a medical professional.

7) Pediatrician Discussion

Check with your doctor to see if it is safe to give your baby solid foods. Some babies are not ready for solids until they are older.

8) CPR

Make sure you know how to perform CPR in case of an emergency. Hopefully you will never need to use it, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. We recommend taking a CPR class from the American Heart Association or the Red Cross.

Following these tips will help to keep your baby safe from choking. Remember to always be vigilant and if something does happen, stay calm and take action. Choking can be a frightening experience for both you and your child – but with the right precautions, it can be prevented.

Sign up for Kids Health Secrets, an online kids’ preventive health and wellness platform to learn more. Kids Health Secrets has on-line classes, live classes, and resources that are perfect for any parent including those that are expecting, new parents, experienced and those that have children with special needs. Consults are available! Online classes start at $129 and live classes start at $49.99 so check them out today!

For more information and resources on your baby’s or child’s health, parent tips and tricks, pediatric emergencies, please visit our website or blog. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also visit our website to download free PDF guides and hear our podcasts.

The information in this blog is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general information purposes and is the opinion of staff at Blue Emerald Wellness. Please do not delay seeking medical advice or treatment because of something you read in this blog.

Authored by Dr. Christopher Haines

Disclosure: We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a small commission. Read our full privacy policy here.

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