Important Facts about Choking Hazards and Injuries

In response to “J.T” who died after choking on a hot dog while on vacation, New York State enacted legislation to help parents, caregivers and providers recognize common choking hazards for children and prevention tips. This legislation is known as ” J.T.’s Law“.  The following information is provided to help educate parents, caregivers, and providers about how to prevent choking incidents and possible deaths.

Important Facts about Choking Hazards and Injuries

  • Choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death in children under the age of 5.
  • Children under age 5 are at greatest risk for choking injury and death.
  • Toys, household items and foods can all be a choking hazard.
  • The most common cause of nonfatal choking in young children is food.
  • At least one child dies from choking on food every five days in the U.S., and more than 10,000 children are taken to a hospital emergency room each year for food-choking injuries.
  • Toy manufacturers label toys for choking hazards and some food manufacturers voluntarily label food products as posing a potential choking risk; however, any food can present a choking risk.
  • Education regarding choking risks, precautions to take in avoiding these risks, and known life saving procedures are necessary to eliminate senseless and tragic injuries and deaths caused by choking.
  • Pediatricians, family practice physicians, health care workers, parents, grandparents, day care workers, school personnel, older children, siblings, babysitters and communities as a whole play a key role in the prevention of injuries and need to share information with caregivers to identify potential choking hazards.
  • The size of a young child’s trachea (windpipe) or breathing tube is approximately the size of a drinking straw in diameter. Imagine a piece of popcorn being lodged in this small area!

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

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