Did you know one of the signs of choking in infants and children is silence? When the airway is blocked, infants and children are unable to cry, cough, or gag. The most common signs of choking are appearing panicked, becoming limp or unconscious, being unable to talk or cry, gasping or wheezing, and turning blue. Here are some tips to prevent choking:
- Avoid foods that pose a significant risk. Grapes, hard vegetables, nuts, and large chunks of meat or cheese are a few examples of foods that pose a choking risk. Prepare food safely and ensure that size of the food is appropriate for your infant or child.
- Choose the right toys. When it is time for play, ensure your child only has access to toys that are age appropriate. Look around your space for small items or toy parts that your child could put in their mouth.
- Sitting upright while eating. Ensure your child is sitting up right while eating. Avoid serving meals in the car or stroller.
- Avoid distractions. Mealtime should be calm. Ensure distractions are limited and full focus is on your child during mealtime.
- Learn child and infant CPR. Be prepared if choking occurs and ready to administer CPR. Visit the Medline Plus Child and Infant CPR webpages for additional information and step-by-step instructions.
Choking can be a scary and dangerous situation. It is best to be prepared in advance to help you stay calm during a choking emergency. For more information visit the CDC Choking Hazards webpage.