Choking can happen at any age, but kids face a higher choking risk if they are under the age of five. At this age, kids’ airways are about the size of their pinky finger, which means it doesn’t take a lot for something to get stuck.
How to prevent choking Prevention is key when it comes to choking. Always supervise your kids while they’re eating and teach them to chew their food thoroughly and avoid talking with their mouths full. Also, encouraging them to sit calmly while eating will reduce their risk of choking. When introducing solids to babies, make sure to begin with puréed food rather than solid pieces. Parents can also be sure to keep small objects (even soft ones) out of reach from small children.
Discarded items such as the corners of milk bags and pop tabs from cans can also pose a choking risk for small children, so be sure to dispose of them properly.
Tip: As a rule of thumb, toys and objects that can fit through a toilet paper tube (i.e. smaller than four centimetres) are not safe to give to babies and toddlers.
For a list of foods and household items that are potential choking hazards, check out the gallery below:
Popcorn, peanuts and nuts
A child’s airway is approximately the size of her pinky finger, which means small snack foods, such as popcorn or nuts, could easily get lodged. These foods are particularly hazardous as kids often devour them by the handful.