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Preventing Your Child from Choking on Food

Keep your kids safe from choking! Watch them while they eat and have them sit down while eating. Never feed babies or toddlers food that may cause choking, such as hard candy, peanuts, peanut butter, popcorn, raisins, whole grapes, raw hard vegetables, or tough meat. Did you know that every 5 days a child in the United States dies from choking on food? Children under the age of 5 may have trouble chewing and swallowing foods and are at risk for choking.

Here are some things you can do to prevent choking:

  • Watch children while they eat (only let children eat in their car seats if someone other than the driver can watch them.)
  • Have children sit down while they eat.
  • Encourage children to eat slowly and to chew foods thoroughly.
  • Cut round foods such as grapes and cherries in quarters and remove seeds and pits.
  • Remove bones from meats and cut meat into very small pieces.
  • Cut foods such as hot dogs and meat sticks into very small strips. Do NOT cut them into round penny shapes.
  • Never feed babies or toddlers foods that may cause choking such as:
    • hard candy
    • peanuts
    • popcorn
    • raisins
    • whole grapes
    • peanut butter (unless it is spread thinly)
    • raw, hard vegetables such as carrots, or
    • tough meat


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