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Choking, a serious problem for little Children!!

You may be an excellent chef and all but your kids probably think that a McDonald’s cheeseburger is the best food in the world compared to your personal favorite self-cooked veg pasta. Don’t fret, what do kids know about your talents huh !! 

Watching your child enjoy their favorite burger that you just got them can make you a little happy too. But your whole world could go upside down when your child starts choking on their favorite food. Now you may have gotten your child to spit it out or you’re parental instincts could somehow have saved your child from further harm. But now would you still want to take them to a restaurant to enjoy their favorite burger. Probably Not !!

But it isn’t down to one thing in the cases of children choking, it could be almost anything that you just never perceived to be serious in the first place. Here are a few things you should know that can cause serious choking problems and how you can prevent them from ever occurring to your child.

Favorite Foods can cause serious choking accidents in kids !!

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Favorite Foods can cause serious choking accidents in kids !!

Researchers found that it may not always be toys but foods can be the primary reasons for children under the age of 5 to suffer this serious problem of choking at certain points in their lives. More than 10,000 children visit emergency rooms only die due to choking on food. And sadly one child dies every five days from a food choking accident. The problem gets worse due to the anatomy of a child.

How does a child’s body have anything to do with them choking on something? 

According to researchers, here are a few of the possibilities - 

  • Kids have underdeveloped swallowing mechanisms.
  • Their teeth may still be immature causing it harder to crush food into tiny pieces.
  • Their narrow airways may put them at higher risk for choking on food.

The primary reason for choking are the foods. Here is a list of the foods that can cause the problem of choking in kids. Take a look -

  • Cheese sticks
  • Chunks of peanut butter
  • Chewing Gum
  • Chunks of raw vegetables
  • Dried Fruit
  • Grapes
  • Hard or sticky candy
  • Lollipops
  • Hot Dogs
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Meat chunks
  • Thick Cheese
  • Seeds like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds

According to researchers, high-risk foods shouldn’t be the reason for parents to stop feeding their children with the same. First off, these are healthy foods that children do need to eat. The best thing to do would be to know how to hand them these particular food products.

Here are a few tips for the parents to be aware when preparing meals for their children-

  • Kid-favorite foods like hot dogs and cheese sticks should be cut lengthwise, next width wise and finally sliced into little circle like shapes.
  • Peanut butter or any other spread should be applied thinly onto bread or crackers.
  • Grapes should be peeled and cut in half or quarters.
  • Vegetables should be chopped and cooked properly into small pieces.
  • Make sure your child makes it a habit to sit up straight while they’re eating.
  • Avoid letting kids run, jump or even play around when they’re eating.

In serious cases of choking -

  • Say the child starts choking and is unable to breathe, immediately dial emergency services.
  • Perform a Heimlich Maneuver or Abdominal thrusts, a first aid procedure that involves you to physically make the person to expel the object out by standing behind and putting your arms around the person’s stomach and pushing it inwards and upwards simultaneously till they cough the object out.
  • If the child is choking but later coughs and assumes that they’re fine, it could be because the object has become lodged or has gotten wedged deep down. Waste no time and immediately go and see a doctor.

The study was carried out by Dr. Nina Shapiro, a professor of head and neck surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

 Choking on foods may be more common than ever !!

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Choking on foods may be more common than ever !!

Researchers carried out a study during a period of 9 years and found out that around 12000 children around the age of 14 years or younger were treated each year in the US emergency departments for injuries caused from choking on food.

4 types of food items were found to cause the most severe cases of choking in children. The list included  -

  • Hard candy caused the most choking episodes and included 15 % of the kids.
  • Other kinds of candy caused around 13 % of choking in children.
  • Meat and hot dog consumption caused about 12 % of the children’s population.
  • Bones accounted for almost 12 % of choking problems in kids. 

The age groups of the children who were more prone to the problems of choking included -

  • More than 60 % of the choking episodes occurred among kids who were around the ages of 4 or younger.
  • In association with physical and neurological development, the number of choking episodes decreased with increasing age until the age of 7.
  • The number of choking episodes remained relatively unchanged even though the age of 14.

      However, it was found that the number of choking episodes involving candy increased with increasing age and by the time kids reached the age of 4, more than half of the choking episodes involved candy.

The study was carried out by Gary Smith, MD, DrPH, a professor of pediatrics in the Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Tips for young parents out there to help prevent choking in children !!

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Tips for the young parents out there to help prevent choking in children !!

  • Children should never run, walk, play or lie down if they have food in their mouths.
  • Learn first aid for choking and even CPR, should an emergency arise.
  • Avoid letting kids play with toys that contain small parts.
  • Keep household items out of reach of infants and young children.
  • Always stay with your kids during their meal times
  • Make sure your older kids don’t hand their younger siblings small or tiny toys, objects or even foods that are likely to cause choking in young children.
  • Check the minimum age recommendations on toy packages as these guidelines may very well clearly indicate the safety of a  toy based on potential choking hazards.
  • Keep away coins from younger children.
  • Cut large food into smaller pieces for children during their mealtimes.
  • keep all latex related material away from kids. These materials can pose a serious threat if ingested.