It’s always dreadful to hear about deaths, but especially when it’s the death of a baby or a small child. One cause of death which is pretty common is choking. Having a child choking on food or a toy is a parent’s worst nightmare. The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), has compiled a list of nine foods that pose a danger of choking for babies and children.

  1. SAUSAGES

Sausages / hot dogs

Cut sausages lengthways. This stops them from being dangerous round shapes that could form a ‘plug’ in your child’s throat.

2. GRAPES

Slicing grapes warning
Image: Facebook: Sophie Jackson

Choking on a grape one of the most common causes of death among children who die in food-related choking incidents. Parents are advised to always cut grapes lengthways.

3. APPLES

Apples

Apples should be finely chopped, grated, or cooked until they are very soft and mushy (core removed). Also peel the apple first.

4. MARSHMALLOWS

marshmallows on pink background
Image: iStock

Avoid giving your baby or child marshmallows. These can swell and expand if they get stuck in your children’s throat, which makes it harder to remove if they is choking.

5. CARROTS

Carrots

Raw carrots are another choking hazard. If a baby or toddler bites a piece of hard raw carrot off, it could cause them to choke. Instead, always cook the carrot until it’s soft and then cut into sticks, no larger than half an inch.

6. NUTS

seeds and nuts spilling out of brown sack onto wooden table

Nuts are also regarded as a choking hazard for babies and children. Whole nuts, including peanuts, shouldn’t be given to children under five, for this reason.

7. PEANUT BUTTER

Peanut butter

The thick consistency of peanut butter means it can be very hard for a child to swallow. Never serve peanut butter on a spoon. Instead, spread a thin layer on toast. Unless your baby has no food allergies –and there are no family allergies – babies can be given peanut butter when they are six months old.

8. BOILED SWEETS AND CHEWING GUM

Boiled sweets/ chewing gum

The shape of boiled sweets means they could block your child’s throat. Chewing gum shouldn’t be given to children until they are old enough to understand that they shouldn’t swallow it, because of choking risks.

9. POPCORN

bowl of popcorn

There have been tragic cases of young children dying after choking on popcorn. This is because young children can’t yet chew food enough to grind it down. And that could mean unchewed pieces of popcorn get stuck and block your child’s airway.