Fact Sheet: Choking Hazards
FACT SHEET: Choking Hazards
Children under the age of 4 should not be offered foods that are round, hard, small, thick
and sticky, smooth, compressible, dense, or slippery.Caring for Our Children Standard 220.127.116.11
EXAMPLES OF HAZARDOUS FOODS
• hot dogs (food that is the most common cause of choking)
and other meat sticks, whole or sliced into rounds
• hard candy
• peanuts and other nuts
• raw peas, raw carrot rounds
• hard pretzels or chips
• rice cakes
• whole grapes
• spoonfuls of peanut butter
• chunks of meat larger than
can be swallowed whole
Remember: Children should be seated and
supervised while eating.
EASY WAYS TO MAKE FOODS SAFER
Food Kind of Change
Hot dog Substitute a more nutritious food;
if hot dogs must be served, cut them in quarters lengthwise,
then cut the quarter lengths into small pieces.
Whole grapes Cut in half lengthwise
Nuts Chop finely
Raw carrots Chop finely or cut into thin strips
Peanut butter Spread thinly on inch sized pieces of cucumber, fruit or bread
mix with applesauce and spread thinly on bread
Fish or meat with bones Carefully remove the bones and cut into small pieces
NON-FOOD CAUSES OF CHOKING CARING FOR OUR CHILDREN STANDARD 18.104.22.168
• latex balloons (the most common cause of non-food item causing choking)
• small objects, toys, and toy parts (per Consumer Product Safety Commission, less than
1.25" in diameter and between 1" and 2.25" deep; some recommend a more stringent limit of
keeping objects away from young children that have a diameter of less than 1.75")
American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care
and Early Education. 2011. Caring for our children: National health and safety performance standards; Guidelines for early care and
education programs. 3rd Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: AAP; Washington, DC: American Public Health Association.
STD 22.214.171.124: Foods that Are Choking Hazards; STD 126.96.36.199: Inaccessibility of Toys or Objects to Children Under Three Years of Age.
Online at: http://www.nrckids.org.
ECELS-Healthy Child Care PA; PA Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics 6/2013
Available at www.ecels-healthychildcarepa.org.