For most parents with young children, the danger of their child choking is a common fear that’s never far from mind, causing a lot of anxiety. As small children are prone to putting things in their mouths, whether it’s food, toys, money or even objects, it’s important to be trained in first aid to ensure that any choking episodes don’t escalate and become fatal. The reason that choking is more prevalent amongst small children is because their teeth, chewing and coughing reflexes are still developing. To help parents avoid choking risks in the home, we’ve provided some first aid tips below:
There are several foods known to be a choking risk for small children in Australia, that have been identified by the Department of Health. These include: raw carrot, apple and celery pieces, popcorn, meat, seeds, corn chips, hard lollies, sausages and hot dogs. To help prevent children choking when eating these foods, it’s best to cut meat up into small pieces and remove the skin from sausages and hot dogs, as well as either grate, finely slice, cook or mash raw fruit and vegetables. With hard lollies and corn chips, these should only be given to children as a sometimes food, due to the low nutritional value and choking danger. When children are eating, it’s also important that they remain seated and there’s always someone present to supervise them.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) offer a free choke check safety tool, designed to help parents identify which toys may be a choking hazard. The cylindrical shaped tool is designed to mimic a small child’s throat, and if a toy can fit inside it, highlights to parents that there’s a danger the toy may be a choking risk. Other factors parents should consider when purchasing toys for small children are as follows:
1. Check for any warning labels.
2. Always choose toys that are age appropriate and be aware if there are any of your older children’s toys laying around the house with small parts that can be detached, these are kept out of reach of your younger children.
3. Assess if the battery compartments on your children’s toys are secure, because lithium batteries can cause serious injuries or even death if these are swallowed.
4. Identify that there are no small magnets on your children’s toys which can be swallowed.
When you are a parent with small children it’s vital that you complete a first aid course, so that you know the steps to take if your child is choking, to avoid injury or death. At Australia-wide First Aid we offer CPR and first aid courses in Sydney for parents, businesses and groups. Our courses can be tailored to suit your needs and are delivered by the most skilled trainer assessors available in the industry. Read more about our Childcare First Aid Course.