Being a parent is one of the greatest responsibilities in life, and that can be scary for many of us. How can I ensure my children are safe at all times? The quick answer is: you can’t. The good news, though, is that there are many things you can do to help prevent harm from affecting our children, and choking is one of them.
Here are a few of our top tips to help prevent your little ones from choking on their food.
- Always insist that your children eat with good posture; have their back straight and their feet resting on something.
- To prevent over-rotating one way or the other (which can cause them to lose control of the food they are eating), skip the tray on the high chair and rather pull the chair straight up to the table. This will also help you, as the parent, to keep a closer eye on how much they are consuming and how.
- Provide utensils; these allow children to slow down their eating. The faster we shovel food into our mouths, the easier it is to choke.
- Serve dips, like guacamole or hummus, with dryer foods to help them slide through their throat and esophagus with ease.
- Lay healthy ground rules, like not eating with a full mouth.
- Try to limit distractions to allow your children to be more mindful while they are eating.
- Be careful with what you offer as snacks in the car, as well as what type of terrain you are driving through while they are eating. Try to stick to foods that melt, dissolve, or crumble easily.
- Be mindful with how you prepare their food and the size of the pieces you offer to them as they are still learning how to eat.
- Get down on your child’s level to see what they see. Are there any choking hazards at eye level, like small paperclips or toy pieces from an older sibling? These things can be much easier to notice when you are not looking from above.
- Keep things like coins, or bags with lipsticks and keys, out of reach for little ones. Their curious minds may get the best of them at the one moment you look away.