According to a recent study in Pediatrics, incidents of choking continue to rise. Researchers found that more than 12,000 American children aged 4 and younger were treated every year in the emergency room for non-fatal choking episodes. That’s 34 children every day. Candy — especially hard candies — accounted for the highest incidents, followed by chunks of meat and bones. High-risk foods such as hot dogs, seeds and nuts accounted for the most hospitalizations.
When preparing and choosing foods for your toddler, it’s important to follow a few simple guidelines to keep your child safe. The following foods are not recommended for children aged 4 and younger:
For children older than 4, use these tips to prepare their food:
Children this age should always be supervised during mealtimes. Cut up food for babies and toddlers into pieces no larger than ½ inch. Teach your children to sit during mealtimes, and don’t let your children run around or play with food in their mouths.
Reviewed by: Patrick S. Pasquariello Jr., MD
Date: August 2013