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10 foods that can cause choking in children

As the holidays get closer it’s time to start getting out that party food. Treats, both salty and sweet are lovely to tuck into while enjoying a seasonal flick with the family. But parents of young children should watch out for the following bites that were highlighted by the HSE as choking hazards.

  • Hot dogs/sausages
  • Raw carrots
  • Apples
  • Grapes (and similar shaped fruit and vegetables, e.g., cherry tomatoes, soft fruits)
  • Nuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Marshmallows
  • Chewing gum
  • Boiled sweets
  • Popcorn

“Give up to five back blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand.” See here for information on how to save a choking infant.

The HSE also offers some preparation guidelines to make food as safe as possible.

  • Chop grapes and cherry tomatoes and other soft fruits into smaller pieces
  • Sit children at a table while eating – they are much more likely to choke if they are walking or running around
  • Don’t let children eat alone or in bed
  • Skins from sausages should be peeled and the meat cut into small pieces, no wider than your child’s fingernail
  • Thick pastes like nut butter should be spread thinly on bread or crackers to avoid choking

For more information see the HSE website here.


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