Causes of Choking in Little Children


Little children have small airways, so small objects they put in their mouths can easily obstruct the airway. A list of items to worry about is given.

An article in the American Academy of Pediatrics newsletter gave a list of items that can cause choking in little children. The article listed the ten more common objects that could cause a little child to choke: hot dogs, hard candy, nuts, grapes, carrots, apples, popcorn, peanut butter and even biscuits. I'm puzzled about how biscuits could cause choking unless they were rock hard. This survey came from forty-eight children's hospitals from around the world.

The other non-food items listed were: "small toys, pen caps, small balls or foam balls, marbles, toy jewelry, magnets, coins, and disk batteries." The one thing I found missing from the list were toys that had parts which could be pulled off and swallowed. An item not listed was pacifiers that can be pulled apart. Balloons can also be inhaled and cause choking. So parents and caretakers have to be very vigilant about what is around that children can put in their mouths. Little children have very small airways that can be easily obstructed. All parents and caretakers need to know CPR and what to do if a child starts choking. I always shudder when I see a small child in a grocery store or other place munching on Cheerios, life-savers or similar foods. It just takes a single peanut or small cube of cheese to mean the difference between life and death unless a caretaker is vigilant. I was on an airplane one day when a doctor was called for. A small child was choking on a peanut. I fortunately was able to get the child breathing again but always worry when I see little children with peanuts and similar objects in their hands and near their mouths.


Image copyright: Efraimstochter/pixabay/CC0

Article last time updated on 20.10.2017.

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Medicine, ENT, Pediatrics
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