Preventing Choking

Topic Overview

  • Don't drink too much alcohol before eating. It may dull your senses, and you might not chew food properly or might try to swallow too large a portion of food.
  • Take small bites. Cut meat into small pieces. Chew your food thoroughly.
  • Do not give popcorn, nuts, or hard candy to children younger than 4, and supervise older children when they eat these foods. Cut hot dogs and grapes lengthwise.
  • Do not give young children small objects that may cause choking, such as marbles or jacks.
  • Look for age guidelines when selecting toys for children.
    • Do not let your child play with a toy if he or she is younger than the recommended age for the toy.
    • The safest toys for small children are at least 3 cm (1.25 in.) around or 6 cm (2.25 in.) in length.
  • Keep balloons and plastic bags away from any child who may put them in his or her mouth.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, BSc, MD, FRCPC, FCCP - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine

Current as ofNovember 20, 2017

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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