Household Safety: Preventing Choking
Putting things in their mouths is one of the ways that babies and small children explore their worlds. Choking is usually caused by food, toys, and other small objects that can easily lodge in a child's small airway — anything that fits can be a danger.
Pay special attention to the following to protect your kids from choking:
These soft foods, except caramels, can be served if they're chopped into small pieces or peeled if they have skin. Spoonfuls of peanut butter and chewing gum also should be regarded as potential choking hazards.
Toys, Balloons, and Other Small Objects
If you're expecting a baby or already have a child, it's a good idea to:
Maintaining a Safe, Kid-Friendly Environment
To check your childproofing efforts, get down on your hands and knees in every room of your home to see things from a child's perspective. Be aware of your child's surroundings and what might be potentially dangerous.
Completely childproofing your home can be difficult. If you can't childproof the entire house, you can shut the doors (and install doorknob covers) to any room a child shouldn't enter to prevent wandering into places that haven't been properly childproofed. For sliding doors, doorknob covers and childproof locks are also great for keeping little ones from leaving your home.
Of course, childproofing cannot replace adult supervision as the best way to help prevent kids from getting injured.
Whether you have a baby, toddler, or school-age child, your home should be a haven where your little one can explore safely. After all, touching, holding, climbing, and exploring are the activities that develop your child's body and mind.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD