To prevent children younger than 4 years
from swallowing or inhaling objects:
Carefully supervise young
Keep small items out of your child's
Teach children not to put anything other than food in their
Do not give children
foods that may cause choking. These include hard, smooth, or chewy foods that
must be chewed with a grinding motion or foods that are round and can easily
get stuck in the throat. These types of food are more likely to be swallowed
improperly or inhaled.
Have children, especially toddlers, sit down
to eat their food.
Cut food into small pea-sized
Do not feed your child while he or she is crying or
Discourage talking, laughing, or playing while
your child has food or beverages in his or her mouth.
Do not give
small objects that may cause choking, such as marbles
Look for age guidelines when selecting toys for children.
Do not let your child play with a toy if he
or she is younger than the recommended age for the toy.
toys for small children are at least
1.25 in. (3 cm) around or
2.25 in. (6 cm) in length.
For more information about how to prevent accidental
poisoning, see the topic
Poisoning. Keep the poison control center number for
your area readily available.
Practice the following suggestions
when eating, and teach them to your children. Children may copy your
Cut your food into small pieces.
small bites slowly and carefully, and chew your food thoroughly.
not laugh or talk with food in your mouth.
Do not eat or drink
while you are involved in another activity, such as driving.
hold objects such as pins, nails, and toothpicks in your mouth and
Avoid excessive drinking of alcohol while eating.
To be prepared for a choking emergency, take an approved first
aid course such as those that are sponsored by the American Heart Association
or the American Red Cross.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this