Choking Hazards In Infants And Toddlers

Choking is the leading cause of injuries among young children and infants.  One child in the US dies from choking every five days, and 75% of deaths occur in children under three. Let’s look at common choking hazards in infants and toddlers and what parents can do to prevent it from happening.

Food Hazards

Young children are just beginning to learn how to eat, so parental supervision is critical. Anything that blocks their airway makes it hard to breathe.

The following are tips for parents to avoid food choking hazards:

  • Watch out particularly for grapes, hot dogs, hard sticky candy, popcorn, nuts and seeds, raisins, peanut butter, marshmallows, raisins, and raw veggies.
  • Cut your child’s food into very small pieces no larger than one half inch
  • Keep your child sitting while they eat. Walking and eating is a no-no.
  • Never give your children food in the car.

Always watch carefully as your child eats. Choking is silent and you won’t hear them. If they get something stuck in their little throats and you don’t notice, it only takes four minutes for them to develop brain damage or worse.

The CDC recommends every new parent learn CPR and the Heimlich maneuver for children in case of an emergency.

Toys And Household Item Hazards

Young ones are inquisitive, and for some reason like to put anything and everything in their mouth. As they begin to crawl and move around, there are any number of hazardous items they can discover.

baby putting plastic she found in her mouth

It may sound silly, but pretend you are a toddler. Get down on your hand and knees and see your home from that perspective. Paper clips, tacks, and other small items that may have been dropped are all choking hazards. Do this exercise frequently!

Check under furniture and between cushions for anything small enough to fit into your child’s mouth. Especially be wary of coins, marbles, toys with small parts that can become loose, pen or marker caps, plastic water bottle caps, button batteries, hair barrettes, rubber bands, and latex balloons. Latex balloons can break, and small pieces become a major choking hazard.

Pay close attention to toy packages and the recommended ages.

Teach older siblings to keep their toys in a safe place where little brother or sister can’t get to them, especially small balls and other items they can fit into their mouth.

Handling A Choking Incident

Administering rapid first aid for choking can save your child’s life. Call 911 and do CPR.  Parents are encouraged to enroll in a Basic Life Support class offered by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association to learn more about choking prevention procedures and CPR for infants and children.

Contact PediatriCare of Northern Virginia to help you better understand the steps of CPR and identify additional dangerous foods and objects.

As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (703) 330-3939 or request an appointment online today.

COVID-19 Update : How We Keep YOU Safe

We have always been committed to ensuring your child’s health and well-being regardless of what the world throws at us as a “village” Exceptional circumstances require innovative processes to keep your family safe. It’s our commitment to you and our community. Here’s how we honor that commitment

****CURBSIDE CHECK IN****
Schedule your appt, tell us you want curbside check in. Let us do the navigation for you. Let us know you are here, proceed into the building to our suite and you will be met by a staff member upon arrival and immediately escorted to your personal exam room in our office bypassing the normal check in process. Our families love it!

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****Video Appointments****
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****Split Schedule****
Well checks ONLY in the morning bright and early is the perfect time to make sure your child is getting the preventative care they need!

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****Reduced traffic flow in the common areas of the building and our office****
Several practices in the building have consolidated locations out of our building which means there is a significant decrease in activity in the hallways. The Fitness Center is also closed! People are practicing strict social distancing too. Plenty of parking, non crowded hallways and elevators where people don’t jump in with one another. It’s a win/win.

****We take care of ourselves so we can care for you****
We have always followed scientifically established protocols to ensure that our facility is clean and our staff is healthy, now more than ever, rest assured that our processes for infection control are superior and our commitment to minimizing risk is unwavering. We are happy to report that the entire staff has remained healthy during this pandemic because of the exceptional commitment we have, as part of your village, to adhering to CDC guidelines both at work and during our time off.

We miss you, we miss the kids and we are ALWAYS here for you and committed to keeping you safe.