When babies start to crawl and eat solid foods, parents need to be particularly vigilant about the dangers and risks of choking.
Choking happens when food or small objects get caught in the throat and block the airway. This prevents oxygen from getting to the lungs and brain. When the brain goes without oxygen for more than 4 minutes, brain damage or even death may occur.
Food can be a trigger for choking. When infants and young children do not grind or chew their food well, they may attempt to swallow it whole. If the food is in large pieces, it can lodge in their throat and cause choking.
You can help reduce the chances of choking by not feeding round, smooth food to children under 4 years old unless it is chopped completely.
Parents should be mindful that nuts and seeds, whole grapes, raw vegetables, raisins, sticky candy, and chunks of peanut butter are all choking hazards.
Written and reviewed by the MediResource Clinical Team