It is one of the favorite foods of children. With tomato, ketchup, and potatoes. And easy to cook. Even easier to eat. It is soft and it tastes delicious. And yet thousands of children die every year because of them. We talked about the sausages.
One day I was lucky to attend a first aid demonstration given at a school by members of the Samurai (emergency health service in Madrid, Spain). The children would learn resuscitation techniques in case of choking. However, they said something terrifying: in case the choking is a circular slice of a sausage, there is nothing to do.
You should not give sausages sliced to your child
One of the biggest choking hazards for children under three is the sausage. Rather, the way we cut the sausage. During that demonstration, the emergency team explained to the children the danger of eating a sausage cut into slices. The circular diameter of a sausage has a size that fits perfectly to that of the trachea of a child under three years. If the little one does not chew it and stays horizontal clogging the trachea, in addition to preventing the entrance of air, it will have a ‘windy’ effect. That is, it is very difficult to get out that piece of circular sausage. Even so, in these cases, we always have to try the Heimlich method for cases of choking.
How to cut the sausage to avoid choking on children
- Cut the sausage crosswise, in the middle, in an elongated shape.
- Now you can cut the lengthened parts of the sausage into several pieces.
Choking is the fourth leading cause of accidental death in children under five. It can be a toy, a household item and of course, for some food. Among the foods that cause choking in children, we think the most dangerous are nuts and raw vegetables. However, in the number one food that causes choking in children less than three years old are the … hot dogs. In the United States, almost 20% of deaths in children (under 10 years) by asphyxia is by a hot dog.
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Therefore, pediatricians recommend extreme caution when cutting certain foods and postpone the introduction of foods such as nuts up to four or five years. We would be surprised to see how much food we give our children under age three and are potentially dangerous: popcorn, celery, grapes, apple…
6 tips to avoid food suffocation in our children
Prevention is the only way to protect our children from an episode of suffocation. When it comes to food, there is no other way:
- Never cut the sausage into ‘slices’ or circles. Cut into irregular pieces.
- Do not give too little hard food to your child under 3 years.
- Do not give him nuts until he is four years old.
- Choose foods that break easily in the mouth, such as the ‘Mary’ cookie or hard bread.
- Do not give your child hard candy until age four or ‘sticky’.
- Avoid popcorn and chewing gum during the first three years of life.