Health + Safety
Choking On Food Is A Common Hazard For Children in America
According to a new study published in ‘Pediatrics,’ about 34 children in the U.S have visited the emergency room due to choking hazards every day for the past decade.
Dr. Gary Smith, who worked on the study at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, said that although the numbers were high, it was still a rough estimate. The numbers do not include the children who were able to expel the food without seeking care or the ones treated in urgent care.
A majority of the children coughed or choked the food out before reaching the emergency room, but ten percent are hospitalized after.
Overall, small candies are the culprit, but children who choked on hot dogs, nuts, and seeds are two to three times more likely to require hospitalization than other foods. Doctors advise the most important rule of preventing choking hazards is to supervise children while they eat; seeds and nuts are difficult to swallow when children eat too many at once and hot dogs are the similar shape and size of their airways.
It’s hard to asses how many kids were severely affected after a choking incident, so parents are told to make sure food is small enough, or in the instance of grapes, simply cut the items in half.