Child Choking and Strangulation Statistics
The following statistics are provided by SafeKids USA:
In 2013, 1,268 children under the age of 19 died from airway obstruction injuries and suffocation.
Sadly, 77% of children who suffocated were under 12 months old and 60% were boys.
819 children under the age of 1 died from accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed and 155 died from choking on food or foreign objects.
Cribs and playpens are responsible for 20% of all nursery product-related injuries among children ages 5 and under.
An additional 24,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for nonfatal suffocation or inhalation annually.
Button batteries are particularly dangerous because when they get stuck in a child’s throat, the saliva triggers an electrical current that causes a chemical reaction resulting in burns to the esophagus.
Common Causes of Choking Injuries in Children
At least one child dies from choking on food every five days in the U.S., according to the New York State Department of Health. Thousands more are treated for choking cases involving gum, coins, toys, and other household objects. Common causes of choking include:
- Small balls
- Small toys or parts of toys
- Peanuts and almonds
- Tough meat
- Small fruits and vegetables (i.e. grapes and cherry tomatoes)
Leading Causes of Strangulation Injuries in Children
Strangulation, which can result in serious injury, brain damage, and death, can occur within minutes. Strangulation incidents can be caused by drawstrings, ribbons, and cords, and by entrapment in pieces of future, playground equipment, or strollers.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has implemented strict rules regarding drawstrings, blinds, and other strangulation and entrapment hazards in order to protect children from needless accidents. Common strangulation hazards include:
- Jackets with drawstrings
- Sweatshirts with drawstrings
- Pacifier strings
- Crib decorations
- Defectively designed furniture