Little kids love to explore and put whatever they find in their mouths. This means that parents of babies and young children need to be on alert for small parts and hanging cords and make safe places for baby to sleep a priority.
To avoid choking, always supervise young children while they are eating and keep small objects that are potential choking hazards out of their reach.
- Do not allow children under age 3 to eat small, round or hard foods, including small pieces of hot dogs, hard candy, nuts, grapes and popcorn. Other hazardous food items include raw vegetables, jellybeans, raw unpeeled fruit slices, dried fruits, grapes or chunks of meat.
- Cut foods into small pieces and give infants soft foods that they do not need to chew.
- Do not let your child eat or suck on anything like candy while lying down or playing. Have children sit in a high chair or at a table while they eat.
- Get on the floor on your hands and knees, so that you are at your child’s eye level. Look for and remove small items such as jewelry, coins, buttons, pins, nails and stones.
Make sure toys and other items children play with do not pose a choking hazard.
- Children should play with safe and age-appropriate toys, as indicated by choking hazard safety labels. Toys that are labeled for children 3 years and older should be kept away from children under age 3. These toys may have small parts and could cause choking if placed in the mouth.
- Regularly check toys for damage that may have created loose small parts. Damaged or dangerous toys should be repaired or thrown away immediately.
- Consider purchasing a small parts tester to determine whether toys and objects in your home may present a hazard to young children. If you do not have a small parts tester, you can use an empty toilet paper roll, which is slightly larger in diameter than a small parts tester. Do not let young children play with anything that can fit into these cylinders.
- Sign up to receive product recalls with the Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov.