Last week, we explored some of the most common causes of choking in children. Today we continue and look into how to prevent children from choking.

The American Academy of Otolaryngology reports that foods with the highest risk of choking include: peanuts, seeds, hard candy, whole grapes, raw carrots, apples, popcorn, hot dogs, chunky peanut butter, marshmallows, chewing gum, sausages, and other forms that could stick to or conform to the airway.

To reduce choking risk when feeding a child or helping her to learn to feed herself, make sure she remains seated during eating times. Children shouldn’t be allowed to run, lie down, or play while eating.

Beware of children who store food in their cheeks. While this is a fairly common behavior, it can lead to choking even after they’ve left the table. Children who are choking may or may not make noise, so it’s very important to watch them whenever they are eating.

Children’s games that involve eating, transporting, or storing food in the mouth should be avoided altogether. Whenever possible, all foods should be cut into small pieces. This is especially important for hot dogs, cheese, and raw fruits and vegetables.

If you see a child that is choking or having trouble breathing, call 911 immediately.

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