Choking on food kills one child every five days -


Choking on food kills one child every five days

The Safe Kids Worldwide campaign says one child in the U.S. dies from choking on food every five days. More than 10,000 are taken to hospital emergency rooms for choking-related injuries every year!

Leeza Gibbons recently met with Kate Carr, the president of Safe Kids Worldwide, to find out more about some surprising kinds of choking hazards and how to help prevent a tragedy.

"So many of them [hazards] we take for granted as being okay to give our kids. Grapes are great, but if you think about that, that's a pretty big grape. You really want to make sure the size is much smaller, about a finger tip," Carr explains.
But even that could be too big. Depending on the age of your child, Carr says you might want to make it a little bit smaller.
String cheese is another choking hazard for children.

"We heard this year about a child who died choking on a piece of string cheese, because it's soft, it melts and it got lodged in a child's throat. This one is really, I think, a pretty unknown one because everyone likes to give their kid this," Carr adds.
String cheese is a staple in many households, so Carr says that instead of pulling the cheese apart, cut it into tiny pieces for your child to eat.

"Smaller than hot dog pieces," Carr notes. Which, by the way, should be cut to pieces the size of your finger tip.

"Think about that; as tiny as you can. Because things that are small, they get lodged in the throat and if it can fit through a paper towel tube then your child can likely choke on it," she explains.

Button batteries are another big choking hazard.

"I think that it's so great that batteries have now become so small and they're found in things like our remotes or key rings, but what we've seen is about 3,400 kids are being treated in emergency rooms because they find a way to get to the battery and what do they do? Toddlers put everything in their mouths," says Carr.

As the battery hits saliva in the mouth, it's activated, meaning that not only can it choke a child, but will also burn a hole in the esophagus.

"You can have a life-long injury and in fact, in some cases, kids have died from this because they're so small you don't know that it's missing and you present at the hospital with flu-like symptoms, and it's not until you have an X-ray where you see that there's a battery lodged in their esophagus," says Carr. "It can be a bathroom scale; it has small batteries. Or so many things in your home, so a good tip if you see a button battery and you have small children, it might not look as elegant, but put a piece of masking tape over so you make it a little bit harder for that child to get."

It will also let you know if the tape has been tampered with, and you'll know your child may have a problem.

Here's one more thing you can do—prepare foods to avoid choking hazards! Some tips include removing pits and seeds from fruit, making veggies easier to chew by softening them in the steamer and serving sticky foods like peanut butter in small amounts.

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