Just last month, a two-year-old boy died after choking on a bubblegum in Perth, Australia. We hear about stories of toddlers choking on seemingly innocent foods all the time, and the most unnerving part about it is that it can happen to anyone.
To avoid choking hazards as much as possible, feed your child appropriate foods depending on their ages. The website Baby Center identified foods that can pose a choking risk.
Choking hazards for children 12 to 24 months old
A chunk of food larger than a pea can get lodged in your child’s throat. Don’t serve your child food when you’re driving and you can’t supervise her eating.
Make sure that you dice, shred, or cut up:
- carrots, celery, and green beans
Cut these foods into quarters before serving:
- grapes, cherry tomatoes, and melon balls
Shred or cut these foods into small pieces:
- meats and cheeses
Instead of giving your toddler large dollops of peanut butter, spread it thinly on bread or crackers.
Avoid these foods altogether:
- small, hard foods like hard candies, cough drops, nuts, and popcorn.
- soft, sticky foods like chewing gum, marshmallows, jelly, or gummy candies
For older children
From 24 months onwards, your child should be a more competent eater. However, there’s still a chance that he could choke on his food. Continue avoiding the choking hazards above, and discourage your child from multitasking—when he’s eating, he shouldn’t be distracted from his meal.