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Pediatrician Tips on How to Prevent Choking in Babies/Toddlers

We continue to drive the message of baby safety this month.  Many thanks to Dr. Nina Shapiro, Director of Pediatric Otolaryngology at UCLA for partnering with us in some blogs this month as well as in our upcoming Twitter Party on Monday September 15th – #SafeBaby.

As any of us with children know, babies and toddlers put EVERYTHING they grab directly into their mouths.  I’m totally serious.  So for the first time pregnant mom’s-to-be, please consider that as you do your final sweeps thru your homes with your partner before the baby comes.  Any small objects as well as any breakable objects that can be grabbed must go into storage.  Yes, your infant won’t be crawling or walking anytime soon, BUT, you will be SUPER TIRED by the time they are, and use your prep time to the max BEFORE BABY arrives.  Just a helpful hint from moi.

Every baby is different when it comes to wanting to eat non breast milk or formula food.  My daughter never grabbed for food while we were eating, but a friend I know now with a 4 month old can’t eat and hold her baby, she grabs at everything.  It is super important to make sure that the food you first feed baby is soft and small and something they can’t choke on.  Remember, chewing is something they will need to LEARN.  And if they only have 1 tooth, use your common sense.  Dr. Nina Shapiro suggests being face to face with your baby when you have them try out a new food.  And watch them, not with anxiety, but with care.

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“Food choking is 4th leading cause of accidental death in young children,” says Dr. Shapiro, “Over 10,000 kids visit ER’s each year from food choking accidents.”  She also suggests that no nuts, candy, seeds, popcorn, hotdogs, grapes, or dried fruits are given to kids under age 5 years of age.

Here are some excerpts from a blog she wrote detailing tips on preventing choking in young children:

The diameter of a child’s airway is about the size of his or her pinky. High-risk foods can easily block airways and prevent breathing. Young children also have immature teeth and underdeveloped swallowing, which also puts them at risk for choking.

Fortunately, choking deaths are largely preventable. To help ensure children’s safety, never allow young children to eat unattended and only serve developmentally appropriate foods. Children should always eat sitting up and should not eat while running, playing or riding in a car.

View larger (PDF) »

 

Not all high-risk foods should be avoided. Many high-risk foods are healthy for young children — as long as they are served in the right form.

Other precautions include:

  • Children should not eat while running, playing or riding in a car.
  • Vegetables should be cooked and cut into small pieces.
  • Cut hotdogs lengthwise and then width wise, into the shape of small half-moons or quarter-moons.
  • Nut butters should be spread thinly onto crackers or bread.
  • Grapes should be peeled and then cut in half or quarters.

To read the entire blog post – which is one I recommend saving and favoriting, please click here.

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To learn more about Dr. Shapiro’s books, click here.

By Alisa Donner, MSW, LCSW, Co-Founder of PAM with contributions from Dr. Nina Shapiro

Pediatrician Tips on How to Prevent Choking in Babies/Toddlers image 0

DISCLAIMER:  This post was written by Alisa Donner, with edited contributions by Dr. Nina Shapiro.  The opinions expressed by Dr. Nina Shapiro and those who comment do not reflect the opinions of PAM or any employee thereof. PAM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied.  Always consult with your medical provider regarding any personal health questions or decisions (including nutrition, diet, and exercise).

3. Check smoke and CO alarms monthly.

When it comes to safety for your children, you already know the basics: buckle up, wear a helmet, learn to swim, look both ways. Here are some lesser-known – but just as important – tips to help keep your family safe.

1. Tug on your kid’s car seat where the seat belt goes. If it moves more than 1” at the base, tighten it up. Need help with your child’s car seat?

– See more at: http://www.safekids.org/blog/7-easy-ways-prevent-injuries-and-keep-your-kids-safe#sthash.3tOSPu1O.dpuf

When it comes to safety for your children, you already know the basics: buckle up, wear a helmet, learn to swim, look both ways. Here are some lesser-known – but just as important – tips to help keep your family safe.

1. Tug on your kid’s car seat where the seat belt goes. If it moves more than 1” at the base, tighten it up. Need help with your child’s car seat?

– See more at: http://www.safekids.org/blog/7-easy-ways-prevent-injuries-and-keep-your-kids-safe#sthash.3tOSPu1O.dpuf

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When it comes to safety for your children, you already know the basics: buckle up, wear a helmet, learn to swim, look both ways. Here are some lesser-known – but just as important – tips to help keep your family safe.

1. Tug on your kid’s car seat where the seat belt goes. If it moves more than 1” at the base, tighten it up. Need help with your child’s car seat?

– See more at: http://www.safekids.org/blog/7-easy-ways-prevent-injuries-and-keep-your-kids-safe#sthash.3tOSPu1O.dpuf

 

Child Safety Month, Dr. Nina Shapiro, Pregnancy Awareness Month, prevention of choking in small children, UCLA

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