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« our campaigns | Keeping your children safe from Choking

Many infants and children die each year from choking.  These deaths can be prevented if parents and care givers watch their children more closely and keep dangerous toys, foods and household items out of their reach.


Children under 4 are at particular risk from choking.  To reduce the chances of your child being affected, you can:

  • Insist that your child eats at the table, or at least sitting down.  Watch young children while they eat.  Encourage them to eat slowly and chew their food well.
  • Cut up foods that are firm and round and can get stuck in your child’s airway, such as:
  • hotdogs – always cut hotdogs length-wise and then into small pieces
  • grapes – cut them into quarters
        • raw vegetables – cut them into small strips or pieces that are not round
          1. Other foods that can cause a choking hazard include:
          2. hard or sticky sweets, like whole peppermints or toffee
          3. nuts and seeds (don’t give peanuts to children under age 7)
          4. popcorn
          5. spoonfuls of peanut butter


          During playtime

          Follow the age recommendations on toy packages.  Any toy that is small enough to fit through a 3cm circle or is smaller than 5.5cms long is unsafe for children under 4 years old.

          • Don’t allow young children to play with toys designed for older children.  Teach older children to put their toys away as soon as they finish playing so young siblings can’t get them.
          • Frequently check under furniture and between cushions for dangerous items young children could find, including:
          1. coins
          2. marbles
          3. watch batteries (the ones that look like buttons)
          4. pen or marker caps
          5. cars with small rubber wheels that come off
          6. small balls or foam balls that can be compressed to a size small enough to fit in a child’s mouth.
          • Never let your child play with, or chew on, uninflated or broken latex balloons.  Many young children have died from swallowing or inhaling them.
          • Don’t let your small child play on bean bag chairs made with small foam pellets.  If the bag opens or rips, the child could inhale these tiny pieces.
          • If you are a parent, grandparent or other care giver, learn how to help a choking child and how to perform CPR in case of an emergency.