Choking hazards you might not have known about

Babies’ and toddlers’ windpipes are narrow therefore making it is easy for your little one to choke. Here’s what to do if that ever happens.

 Surprisingly, balloons make the list of dangerous items your child can choke on!

As parents, we constantly worry that our children are safe from harm. While there are many dangers for children, nothing causes frantic panic in a household like a choking child. Here are a few common choking hazards you may not have known were dangerous, and what to do if your child chokes.

Fruits

Strawberries, blueberries, cherry tomatoes, and grapes may be good snacks for your child, but they are hazardous. Rather cut the fruit in half or quarters, as it is easy for whole fruit to get lodged in your child’s windpipe.

Snacks

Popcorn and pretzels can be dangerous for young children. The problem with these crunchy snacks is that they are eaten in mouthfuls -not a safe snack option. It’s best to avoid hard crunchy snacks until your child is at least four years old and can chew properly.

Fridge magnets

Most homes have fridge magnets. These are dangerous to have around with little curious tots. Ensure the magnets are out of reach!

Animal feed

Often, babies and toddlers are curious about their pets’ food. The hard pellets are a choking hazard! Make sure pet food is out of reach and locked in a cupboard. Also, check the floors after your pet has eaten for rogue pellets.

Marshmallows 

This soft sweet may seem harmless, but it’s often rated the most hazardous food for children because it can completely block their airways. Save the marshmallows until they’re older.

Bottle caps

Plastic bottle caps are easy to find around the house, especially in the pantry and fridge. Don’t underestimate your child, they easily learn how to open bottles.

Button batteries

In children’s toys, sometimes lithium batteries are used. The round flat-shape makes them a choking hazard. Make sure the batteries of your child’s toys cannot be accessed and the battery box is fastened tight with screws.

Sausages

Hot dogs are a simple dish and a favourite for many families. Babies and toddlers love to eat the sausage like the rest of the family. Cut the sausage into much smaller pieces for them to chew.

Balloons

Balloons are fun to play with, but should the balloon pop, it can easily be swallowed.  Best to leave the balloons out of reach.

Peanut Butter

The yummy spread is safer to enjoy when spread thinly on a piece of bread or cracker. A spoonful of the sticky spread can get lodged in your child’s throat.

8 Steps to take if your child is choking

Taking a CPR course is the best way to ensure you’re prepared for any eventuality, but following these steps can help.

  1. Pick your child up
  2. Place them tummy-down along your forearm.
  3. Use your thigh as support.
  4. Their head must be lower than their bottom
  5. Using the heel of your other hand, hit your baby square between their shoulder blades to dislodge the object. Do this five times.
  6. Check to see if the object has dislodged.
  7. If not, call the ambulance and start CPR.
  8. Remember not to panic.