HEALTH CENTER

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Reduce the Risk of Choking for Your Child by Frank Garcia

frank-640x426-300x199As parents we want to provide the best food available for our children.  Although it’s important to expose children to different kinds of foods to help establish healthy eating habits, there are certain factors that may pose a threat to developing eaters.

0-6 Months:  Infants are actually less likely to choke on foods vs. foreign objects. At this age it is important to maintain careful supervision of their tummy time and toys. They will be gumming on many different kinds of objects, so inspect toys for loose or broken pieces and remove suspect items from their reach. Allow sufficient time for feeding, encourage chewing motions (gumming food) before swallowing, and do not feed a baby that is crying.

6-12 Months: Help your child develop healthy eating habits to prevent the risk of choking.  Supervise your child during snacks and meals. Do not let distractions like playtime, television, or other engaging factors interfere with your child’s meals; a child is less likely to properly chew and swallow when distracted. Continue to encourage chewing and avoid large chunks or hard pieces. Steaming carrot sticks and cutting them into small portions is an ideal alternative snack for this age range.

12-24 Months:  At this phase most toddlers are becoming competent eaters. Avoid sticky foods that are hard to chew because the child probably won’t have the patience to adequately chew. Discourage ambulatory eating. Although they are getting older, continue to cut small bites for your child to avoid bites that are too large and may pose a problem. Avoid letting your child eat in the car because it is too challenging to supervise while driving.

In the event of a blocked airway, perform CPR immediately.  If you feel that your child is experiencing labored breathing, lethargy, or is just not his/her usual self seek medical attention immediately.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.