Tips for preventing choking

Child Caring Online - information about the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Tips for preventing choking

  • Hot dogs are the number one cause of choking in children. Quarter them lengthwise to reduce the risk of choking. If you serve a food which contains pieces of hot dogs, like beans and franks, quarter the pieces so that they are not circular. Other foods might also be modified to reduce the risk of choking.

  • Gradually build a child’s feeding skills; let him or her work up slowly to more difficult foods.

  • For the child under three, avoid foods that are hard to control in the mouth, chew and swallow, this includes nuts, raw carrots, gum drops and jelly beans. Do not serve hard candy, raw vegetables and fruits, grapes, raisins, seeds, corn, peanut butter, popcorn, pickles, nuts, olives or thick sticky cheese foods to children until after their two year molars have appear and they are chewing with them.

  • Always be present during feeding. Never let other children supervise.

  • Keep children seated while they are eating. Most choking occurs when children are on the run.

  • Keep things calm at eating times. When children scream or laugh they catch their breath and they could inhale food, causing them to choke.

Adapted from Promoting Wellness , Save the Children Child Care Support Center

Updated August 22, 2017 7:10pm