Advertisement

How can I prevent my child from choking on food?

Nina L. Shapiro, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
To prevent your child from choking on food, never allow him or her 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.
 
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. Vegetables, for instance, should always be cooked and cut into small pieces. Nut butters should be spread thinly onto crackers or bread and grapes should be peeled, halved and quartered.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Since choking is a leading cause of death among children, it's always smart to be aware of choking hazards -- food related or not. When it does come to food, besides cutting foods into small pieces, you should be on alert for the biggest offenders: hard candy, nuts, seeds, grapes, and raw carrots, as well as hot dogs. (Tip: Cut them lengthwise, since the round shape can block a child's airway.)
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

More About this Book

YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

Continue Learning about First Aid For Choking

What do I do if my rescue breaths do not give air to an unconscious child?
American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross
Re-tilt the head, and try another rescue breath. If you still cannot get air into the child, assume ...
More Answers
How do I give abdominal thrusts to a child who is choking?
American Red CrossAmerican Red Cross
Stand or kneel behind the child and wrap your arms around his or her waist.  Locate the navel with ...
More Answers
How Does a Person Choke?
How Does a Person Choke?
What Should I Do If Someone Is Choking?
What Should I Do If Someone Is Choking?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.