The American Academy of Pediatrics wants some food-that kids are most likely to choke on-to have warning labels. Popcorn, hot dogs, gumballs, raw carrots and peanuts are some of the biggest choking hazards.
I know popcorn is a leading choking hazard, but sometimes it is a big challenge to keep it out of kid's hands. Experts are now recommending waiting until kids are 4-5 before letting them eat it. That's a pretty hard rule to follow. I try to avoid having it in the house, but my three year old still has popcorn sometimes (when people take him to the movies). I constantly remind him to chew, chew chew if he has popcorn. The doctors in The New York Times article below say most parents who end up in the ER with a choking child say, "I was right there. I don't know how it happened."
About two-thirds of hot dog packaging has a choking warning, but that doesn't mean parents know how to protect their kids from choking on them. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends cutting up the hot dogs for kids under 5 years old.
FROM THE NEW YORK TMES: There are no recent nationwide figures on food choking. In 2001, about 17,500 children 14 and younger were treated in emergency departments for choking, and 60 percent of the episodes were caused by food. In 2000, 160 children died from an obstruction of the respiratory tract.
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