How to Prevent Baby from Choking: Life-saving Tips for Parents

Choking is the fourth leading cause of accidental death in children under the age of five.

It can happen to anyone, regardless of age or health.

That’s why it’s important for parents to be aware of how to prevent choking in babies and take the necessary steps to keep their children safe.

In this blog post, we will discuss some life-saving tips that can help you protect your little one from this dangerous hazard!

For all of our WIC clinics, hospitals, and other customers, we offer a “Prevent Choking Tear Pad (Bilingual).

You can view the tear pads here:

Choking can occur when a piece of food or object gets lodged in the throat or windpipe, blocking the flow of air. This can happen quickly and without warning, which is why it’s so important to be vigilant when your child is eating.

Prepare foods so they are easy to chew and swallow.

  • Cook hard food until it is soft enough to pierce with a fork
  • remove seeds, pits, and tough skins and peels from fruits and veggies
  • Chop food into small pieces, no large than 1/2”. You can also simply grate, mash or puree food. This is especially important for raw fruits and veggies that are harder to chew.
  • Remove all bones from fish, chicken, and meat.
  • Grind up tough meats and poultry
Prevent choking in babies and children

Teach children good eating habits

  • Sit with your children while they eat.
  • Teach them to take small bites, eat slowly, and chew completely before swallowing food.
  • Never allow kids to run, walk, play, or lie down with food in their mouth.

Common food choking hazards in babies and young children

  • Cheese chunks – cheese should be grated or thinly sliced
  • Chewing gum
  • Dried fruit, like raisins
  • Hard, gooey, or sticky candy – like gummy bears, caramels, jelly beans
  • Hard pretzels and pretzel chips
  • Ice cubes
  • Marshmallows
  • Nuts and seeds – including brads, crackers and cereal with nuts and seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Spoonfuls of peanut butter or nut butters. Spread thinly on toast, crackers, etc. and only use creamy, not chunky
  • Whole round or tube shaped foods like grapes, cherry tomatoes, cherries, melon balls, raw carrots, hot dogs – these should be cooked and/or chopped so baby can easily chew and swallow.

Common choking hazards around the house

  • Balloons
  • Coins
  • Marbles
  • Toys with small parts
  • Buttons
  • Plastic bags

At what age are infants most at risk for choking?

Babies under the age of one are at the highest risk for choking.

This is because their airway is smaller and they are still learning to eat solid foods.

If you are feeding your baby solid foods, be sure to cut them into small pieces and watch them closely while they eat.

If you think your baby is choking, call 911 immediately. Do not try to give them anything to drink or food as this could make the situation worse.

Try to remain calm and follow the instructions of the operator. Choking is a serious medical emergency and should be treated as such.

Why does my baby choke easily?

The answer to this question may surprise you.

It turns out that babies are born with a natural reflex that causes them to choke easily.

This reflex is called the gag reflex.

The gag reflex is a protective mechanism that helps keep foreign objects out of the throat and lungs.

Babies have a very sensitive gag reflex, which is why they tend to choke easily.

There are several things you can do to help prevent your baby from choking.

First, make sure that any food you give them is soft and easy to chew.

Second, cut their food into small pieces so that it’s easier for them to eat without choking.

Finally, avoid giving them hard or chewy foods altogether. If you follow these simple tips, you can help keep your baby safe from choking.

Having a tool at your disposal such as a choke tube can help you understand if something is dangerous for your baby or child.

choke tube

How to prevent baby from choking while sleeping

Choking can occur while a baby is eating, but it often happens when they’re asleep.

When an infant’s airway becomes blocked, it can be a life-threatening emergency.

There are several things you can do to help prevent your baby from choking while they sleep:

  • Position your baby on their back to sleep. This is the safest position for babies and will help keep their airway clear.
  • Keep soft objects out of your baby’s crib. Toys, stuffed animals, and pillows can all pose a choking hazard.
  • Don’t let your baby sleep with a pacifier attached to their clothing. The string could become wrapped around their neck and choke them.
  • Make sure your baby’s crib is free of any loose items that could fall and block their airway.

Be sure to check your baby’s sleeping area regularly for any potential hazards. By taking some simple precautions, you can help keep your baby safe from choking while they sleep.

If you have any concerns about your child’s safety, be sure to talk to your doctor. They can offer guidance on how to keep your child safe from choking and other injuries.

What are some common symptoms of choking?

Common symptoms of choking include coughing, gagging, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to act quickly and call 911.

What to do when baby is choking on saliva while sleeping?

If your baby is choking on saliva while sleeping, the first thing you should do is try to wake them up.

You can do this by gently tapping their shoulder or calling their name.

If they don’t respond, you’ll need to take action to clear their airway.

The next step is to find something that you can use to dislodge the saliva from your baby’s throat.

A finger works well for this purpose.

Gently insert your finger into your baby’s mouth and sweep it around until you’ve cleared the obstruction.

There is plenty of anti-choking devices on the market today that can help.

The DeCHOKER is a popular device.

If your baby is still choking, you may need to perform CPR.

First, call 911 and then begin chest compressions by placing your hands in the center of their chest and pushing down firmly.

By following these steps, you can help to ensure that your baby is able to breathe properly and avoid any further complications.

Choking on saliva while sleeping can be a scary experience but by remaining calm and taking action, you can help to keep your baby safe.

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