Infants and toddlers are at the highest risk of choking as they haven’t mastered the process of chewing yet, causing choking more often than kids above 4 years. Toddlers love to put everything in their mouth. It’s their way of exploring the world around - seeing, grabbing and chewing. You cannot prevent this exploration, there are certain things you don’t want your baby to put in his mouth, hence supervise your child to not get affected by choking. There are certain choking hazards in toddlers that you need to keep away from your little bub. Knowing which objects most often cause choking in toddlers can reduce the risk.
Do check these 10 common choking hazards in toddlers which lie around in your home:
The favourite play material for almost every child is a balloon. You have used balloons for your bub’s birthday décor, balloons account for nearly half of all choking-related fatalities. Well, if your baby finds an underlying balloon, and puts a piece of latex in his mouth, it can completely obstruct his airway. Avoid the idea of latex balloon décor for your child’s birthday party or do not let your child take balloon in his mouth.
Swallowing coins, buttons or marbles is a known hazard of choking among children. Keep that change out of your baby’s reach. Though coins can pass through the digestive tract, these pose a serious danger. When it comes to small objects like buttons or marbles, you should keep them out of your baby’s reach and floor. Do check for any loose button in your child’s shirt.
Due to its shape, size, and texture, grapes are one of the most common choking hazards in toddlers. While grapes make a compulsory food in your child’s diet plan, you must take extra care while giving it to him. Cut it in half and peel if required, until your child is able to chew properly.
Lithium batteries pose a threat to your child’s life if swallowed. Found in TV remotes, toys, etc., these tiny batteries are the most dangerous items that your child can put in his mouth. You should keep all the loose batteries in a lock and well out of your child’s reach. Magnets too is a serious choking hazard found in toddler's toys.
Peanut butter is sticky. Sticky foods are difficult to swallow which makes it more prone to choking in toddlers. The sticky content could block your baby’s airways. Also, check raisins and cranberries as they can get stuck in your child’s mouth.
Your small baby is at risk of choking himself from his own toys. Even if the toys pose all safety standards, they can be a choking hazard in toddlers. Do not give your child small blocks or any such toy which is not meant for his age. While purchasing toys, make sure it does not have very small parts. Even if the toy is broken and has small parts make sure he plays with them in front of you. Do not let him take any toy in his mouth.
One of the most neglected hazards among choking hazards in toddlers is hard food. Popcorns, nuts, fruit pops, toffies should not be given to your child until he is able to chew food fully. Be careful when you give nuts to your child to eat. Do not give whole nuts to your child until your child starts, biting, chewing and swallowing properly.
Beads, buttons, colours, and other art supplies are important to introduce to your child but keep an eye when he is using them. Always choose non-toxic colours, paint which is likely to taste and tested. Clay also pose a threat to choking in toddlers.
Due to their shape and texture, hot dogs are a big - big no for your baby. It can easily slide down and obstruct your child’s airway.
Last substance among choking hazards in toddlers is rubber bands. Loom bands or rubber bands are attractive enough to call your child’s attention. If swallowed, they can be a choking hazard and can cause other health problems too.
Apart from avoiding 10 common choking hazards in toddlers, you must follow few safety tips to keep your child away from choking accidents:
•Always supervise your child at his mealtime.
•Do not give raw or uncut food to your child. Peel the fruits to avoid choking.
•Demonstrate safe and appropriate ways of chewing and swallowing food.
•High activity levels like walking, running or talking increase the risk of choking in babies. You should teach your child to be seated, do not talk or laugh while eating.
•You should learn baby back blows, chest thrust, abdominal thrust and CPR to make your child relieved from choking, if it occurs.
•Call your doctor immediately if the situation worsens and you are not able to perform any helping activity.