- Never leave a small child unattended while eating. Direct supervision is necessary.
- Children should sit up straight when eating, should have sufficient number of teeth, and the muscular and developmental ability needed to chew and swallow the foods chosen. Remember, not all children will be at the same developmental level. Children with special health care needs are especially vulnerable to choking risks.
- Children should have a calm, unhurried meal and snack time.
- Children should not eat when walking, riding in a car or playing.
- Cut foods into small pieces, removing seeds and pits. Cook or steam vegetables to soften their texture. Cut hot dogs lengthwise and widthwise.
- Model safe eating habits and chew food thoroughly.
- Offer plenty of liquids to children when eating, but solids and liquids should not be swallowed at the same time. Offer liquids between mouthfuls.
- Use only a small amount of peanut butter when the child is ready and use with jelly, or cream cheese on whole grain breads (Remember peanut butter can stick to the roof of a child’s mouth and form a glob.)
- Think of shape, size, consistency and combinations of these when choosing foods.
- Pay particular attention to those foods, toys and household hazards mentioned that pose choking hazards to ensure child safety.
- Educate caregivers and the community about choking hazards and precautions to take to prevent choking. Identify emergency resources and contacts.
- Become familiar with life-saving techniques such as child cardiopulmonary resuscitation, abdominal thrusts (Heimlich Maneuver), Automated External Defibrillators (AED) or calling 911.
Check out these other helpful links
Important Facts about Choking Hazards
Choking Prevention & Precaution TIPS for PARENTS
List of Choking Hazards: Foods, Household Items and Toys