Infants should sleep on their backs on a firm mattress.
Do not put stuffed animals, pillows, or other things in your child's crib.
Keep small, interesting, shiny objects out of children's reach.
Check your child's toys. They should not have small pieces or batteries
that can be removed.
Supervise children while they are eating. Young children can choke on certain
foods (such as meats, nuts, seeds, candy, fruit pits, and popcorn).
Small toy parts, such as screws, eyes, noses, and other pieces that could
be taken apart are choking hazards. Coins, marbles, safety pins, buttons,
crayon pieces, erasers, paper wads, rocks, and beads are also risks.
Children should not run or play with things in their mouths.
Cut window blind cords and drapery cords or tie them high out of children's
reach. Keep cribs away from these strings.
Make sure spaces between guard rails, fences, railings, etc. are less than
3.5 inches apart.
Remove strings from your child's clothing. Do not tie strings around your
Keep plastic bags (grocery sacks, dry-cleaning bags, etc.) out of reach
of children. Children can suffocate if the bags are put over their heads.
Keep balloons away from children or supervise while they play with balloons.
Store your child's toys in a box without a lid or store them in a basket.
If the box has a lid, the box should have holes in it. The lid should stay
propped open and should be lightweight.
Children should sit while they eat. Do not let them walk around, play, or
laugh with food in their mouths. Remind them to take small bites and to chew
well. Do not rush kids while they are eating.
How can I tell if my child is choking?
If your child seems to have gotten something stuck in his throat, watch
He is not choking if he is coughing, has a normal skin color, and can talk.
If he cannot talk, if he looks panicked, and if his face is turning purple,
he is choking. His eyes may bulge and he may gasp or wheeze.
People often tell others that they are choking by crossing their wrists
and holding their hands around their neck.
A child who is choking needs immediate attention. Call 911 and if trained,
give your child the Heimlich maneuver.
How is it treated?
Parents should learn the Heimlich maneuver (first aid for choking).
Parents should be trained in CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation).
Airway obstruction is when something prevents air from reaching the lungs
and the brain.
Airway obstruction can be caused by choking, suffocation, or strangulation.
Children under age 4 are at risk for airway obstruction. Children under
age 1 are especially at risk.
Talk to your doctor about taking steps to prevent airway obstruction. Learn
about foreign bodies, toy safety, sudden infant death syndrome, and childproofing
If your child gets something caught in his throat, watch closely for signs
of choking. A person who is choking may look scared and they cannot talk or
If your child is choking, call 911 and if trained, give the Heimlich maneuver.
Parents should also be trained in CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation).
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Airway Obstruction. 1996-2001 (cited
2002 May 29). URL: http://www.chop.edu/consumer/your_child/condition_section_index.jsp?id=-8112&printable=1
MayoClinic. Choking. 2002 January 15 (cited 2002 May 29). URL: http://www.mayoclinic.com/findinformation/conditioncenters/invoke.cfm?objectid=58F86124-269C-49E1-834BBE72273246D6&printpage=true
Tarrango, SB. Prevention of Choking, Strangulation, and Suffocation in Childhood.
State Medical Society of Wisconsin. 2000 (cited 2002 May 29). URL: http://www.medem.com/search/article_display_for_printer.cfm?path=n:&mstr=/ZZZDYWB1JJC.shtml&soc=SMS%20of%20WI&srch_typ=NAV_SERCH
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