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Choking Hazards for Babies Under 12 Months

August 10, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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baby boy being spoon fed, with food on his face

 

 

Choking is another thing you have to keep in mind when your baby starts on solid foods. Young children's mouth muscles aren't well developed so you have to take some safety precautions.  


To help prevent choking, watch your baby eat. And don't provide food during car rides or in the stroller. You may also want to avoid certain foods, like hard, round or sticky things that can be hard for babies to manage. Or you can prepare those foods carefully, as shown in the following examples:

Potential Food
Hazards
Examples: Steps to make food easier:
Round
  • Whole grapes
  • Small tomatoes or large berries
  • Hot dogs, sausages
  • Slice lengthwise into quarters
Hard
  • Fruit with pits or seeds
  • Raw vegetables that can break into chunks, such as carrots
  • Whole nuts or peanuts
  • Seeds
  • Remove pits and seeds
  • Grate or chop finely, cook and slice into thin sticks
  • Chop finely
Sticky
  • Globs of peanut butter
  • Raisins and other dried fruit
  • Marshmallows
  • Spread thinly on toast or crackers
  • Cut into small pieces
Stringy
  • Celery and citrus fruit, such as oranges and grapefruit
  • Leafy vegetables

 

  • Remove large, stringy sections
  • Cut into small pieces
Chunky
  • Chunky peanut butter or nut and seed butter
  • Large chunks of meat or cheese
  • Choose smooth nut butters or seed butters; spread thinly on toast or cracker
  • Cut into small cubes
Easy to eat by handfuls without chewing
  • Pretzels, chips
  • Serve small amounts onto plate or in bowl rather than out of bag
Bones
  • Chicken and whole fish
  • Remove bones from chicken and fish; flake fish before serving.
  • Rub between fingers to feel for bones

Resources & Links:
HealthLink BC: Choking Rescue for Babies
HealthLink BC: Choking Prevention in Small Children

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Topic

  1. Activity & Lifestyles
  2. Aging Well
  3. Pregnancy & Parenting
    1. Pregnancy & Birth
    2. Babies (0-12 months)
    3. Toddlers (12-36 months)
    4. Preschool (3-5 years)
    5. Children (6-11 years)
    6. Teens (12-18 years)
  4. Food & Nutrition

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