Amherst, OH

University Hospitals’ Rainbow Lorain Pediatrics’ nurse gives tips to avoid choking hazards in younger children

James Stephens

AMHERST, OH – As children grow up, they will be curious about the objects they see and hold. This part of a child’s growing up process can also become hazardous and risk the children choking since they like to put the object into their mouths. Elana Richter, CNP, a pediatric nurse at UH Rainbow Lorain Pediatrics, explains the choking hazard in younger children.

Aside from objects, food can also cause children to choke. A chunk of hard and solid food can easily trap in the children’s throats. Therefore, Richter states that their guardians’ duties are to avoid several kinds of food and monitor them while they’re eating.

Richter also encourages the parents or guardians to apply a proper manner and routine for the kids, especially at mealtime. The manner in question includes:

  • Seat the child in a high chair and instruct them to sit upright.
  • Cut the food into smaller bits.
  • Don’t encourage them to eat and talk at the same time.
  • Don’t let them run or play with food in their mouth.
  • Don’t encourage them to eat in a moving car as well as in a car seat.

Richter advises the guardians to avoid giving this food to children younger than the age of four:

  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Chunks of peanut butter and other kinds of butter unless to eat with bread as a spread.
  • Chunks of cheese, meat, or raw vegetables bigger than bite-size.
  • Round pieces of hot dogs.
  • Gummy snacks, marshmallows, and chewing gum.
  • Hard snacks such as popcorn, potato chips, corn chips, etc.

As for avoiding choking hazards by objects, guardians and any other family member should always keep small-sized items like marbles, coins, pen caps, buttons, etc., out of the children’s reach. Pet food also must be stored out of their reach.

When choking occurs, children usually will have a forceful cough to get the object or food out. Even so, Richter still recommends calling 911 and get professional help. As for the case of swallowing dangerous substances, guardians are urged to call the Poison HELP hotline at 800-222-1222.

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