According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), choking is defined as the blockage or hindrance of respiration by a foreign body obstructing the internal airway.

Choking has been one of the leading causes of child morbidity and mortality especially for those under 3 years of age.

a) Food – nuts, seeds, popcorns, chunks of peanut butter, raisins etc.
b) Miscellaneous items – small toys, balloons, buttons, coins, pieces of pet food, pen or marker caps etc.

a) Childproof your house.

  • Don’t leave your personal stuff lying around on the floor
  • Use childproof containers to store all your belongings such as keys, smart phones, coins. Keep the containers far from reach (store more than 1.75 meters above floor level).
  • Keep poisonous products such as detergents, bleach out of reach and label them properly.
  • Regularly check under your sofas and in between the cushions, tables and carpets for hazardous items.
  • Neatly fasten, tie up and place all wires, extended cables, drapes and curtains out of reach.
  • Keep all sharp and hazardous objects in locked drawers or cabinets.

b) Pick age appropriate toys for your child.

  • Choose toys that are properly made and don’t fall off easily.
  • Probe the toys for small parts, detachable components and sharp edges.
  • Store all toys in a container after playtime.
  • Supervise smaller children during playtime and don’t let your older child share his/her toys (and food) with the baby.

c) Be vigilant, supervise!

  • Make sure your child’s mealtimes are being supervised by you, your spouse or caregiver at all times.
  • Child should be sat up straight and he/she shouldn’t be simultaneously eating while playing, running or walking.
  • Avoid feeding your child while in the car.
  • Cut solid foods into bite-sized pieces (no larger than ½ an inch) or lightly chew them before feeding your baby.
  • Cook harder food like carrots or broccoli until they are soft and chewable.
  • Hydrate your child often between mouthfuls.
While we have made every effort to provide accurate information in these FAQs, please consult your paediatrician or healthcare providers for further diagnosis, explanation and clarification. Positive Parenting appreciates the help received from our panel of experts in answering these frequently asked questions.