Things Toddlers can Choke On.

What to Avoid

Kids can choke on many things, things such as:


Small Berries

Cut Hot Dogs

All of these can pose serious dangers for toddlers.

You can Prevent Choking By Practicing These Things:

  • Never leave a small child unattended while eating. Direct supervision is necessary.
  • Children should sit up straight when eating, should have sufficient number of teeth, and the muscular and developmental ability needed to chew and swallow the foods chosen. Remember, not all children will be at the same developmental level. Children with special health care needs are especially vulnerable to choking risks.
  • Children should have a calm, unhurried meal and snack time.
  • Children should not eat when walking, riding in a car or playing.
  • Cut foods into small pieces, removing seeds and pits. Cook or steam vegetables to soften their texture. Cut hot dogs lengthwise and widthwise.
  • Model safe eating habits and chew food thoroughly.
  • Offer plenty of liquids to children when eating, but solids and liquids should not be swallowed at the same time. Offer liquids between mouthfuls.
  • Use only a small amount of peanut butter when the child is ready and use with jelly, or cream cheese on whole grain breads (Remember peanut butter can stick to the roof of a child's mouth and form a glob.)
  • Think of shape, size, consistency and combinations of these when choosing foods.
  • Pay particular attention to those foods, toys and household hazards mentioned that pose choking hazards to ensure child safety.
  • Educate caregivers and the community about choking hazards and precautions to take to prevent choking. Identify emergency resources and contacts.
  • Become familiar with life-saving techniques such as child cardiopulmonary resuscitation, abdominal thrusts (Heimlich Maneuver), Automated External Defibrillators (AED) or calling 911.

Choking First Aid

Step 1: Assess the situation quickly.

If a child is suddenly unable to cry, cough, or speak, something is probably blocking her airway, and you'll need to help her get it out. She may make odd noises or no sound at all while opening her mouth. Her skin may turn bright red or blue.

If she's coughing or gagging, it means her airway is only partially blocked. If that's the case, encourage her to cough. Coughing is the most effective way to dislodge a blockage.

If the child isn't able to cough up the object, ask someone to call 911 or the local emergency number as you begin back blows and abdominal thrusts (see step 2, below).

If you're alone with the child, give two minutes of care, then call 911.

On the other hand, if you suspect that the child's airway is closed because her throat has swollen shut, call 911 immediately. She may be having anallergic reaction – to food or to an insect bite, for example – or she may have an illness, such as croup.

Also call 911 right away if the child is at high risk for heart problems.

Step 2: Try to dislodge the object with back blows and abdominal thrusts.

First do back blows

If a child is conscious but can't cough, talk, or breathe, or is beginning to turn blue, stand or kneel slightly behind him. Provide support by placing one arm diagonally across his chest and lean him forward.

Firmly strike the child between the shoulder blades with the heel of your other hand. Each back blow should be a separate and distinct attempt to dislodge the obstruction.

Give five of these back blows.

Then do abdominal thrusts

Stand or kneel behind the child and wrap your arms around his waist.

Locate his belly button with one or two fingers. Make a fist with the other hand and place the thumb side against the middle of the child's abdomen, just above the navel and well below the lower tip of his breastbone.

By following these steps, you could save a child's life.