Definition of Choking in children
Choking in children: The compromise of a child's normal breathing by obstructing or compressing the trachea, a major health hazard for children.
Putting things in their mouths is one of the ways that babies and small children explore the world. Anything that fits in their mouths can be a danger. Choking is usually caused by food, toys, and other small objects that can easily lodge in a child's small airway.
A study was done of nonfatal choking episodes treated in emergency departments in 2001 by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention). The CDC found 60% of the choking episodes were associated with food items; 31% with nonfood objects including coins; and in 9% the substance was unknown or unrecorded.
To prevent a child from choking, pay special attention to the following:
Part of this entry is based on information in "Preventing Common Household Accidents" published in 1997 by the American Medical Association.
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
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