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Study Finds 34 Children a Day Visit E.R. after Choking on Food

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Jarod Cassidy4 years ago

A study published by Pediatrics shows an alarming rise in the number of U.S. children who choke on food. Choking is the leading cause of injury among children with food among the most common causes.

Child Choking Statistics

“This is an underestimate. This doesn’t include children who were treated in urgent care, by a primary physician or who had a serious choking incident and were able to expel the food and never sought care.” – Dr. Gary Smith as published by Reuters

  • Between 2001 and 2009, 12,435 children under the age of fourteen were taken to the emergency room after choking on food.
  • This number breaks down to about 34 children per day.
  • This number does not include the 57 child deaths resulting from choking on food that are reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year.
  • Candy was the most common culprit, counting for over 25 percent of food related choking among children.
  • The study found that hotdogs, seeds, and nuts were 2-3 times more likely to result in hospitalization than other foods.
  • Babies under one year account for 38 percent of all emergency room visits resulting from food related choking among children.

Choking Prevention Tips

  • Physicians involved in the study state that supervision should be the first step to choking prevention.
  • Food should be cut appropriately for children. Children under four should not recieve sections of food large than half an inch. A grape, for example, is recommended to be cut in half for small children while a raisin can be ingested whole.
  • Hot dogs, due to their shape, result in the highest number of hospitalizations as they can completely block a child’s ability to breathe. Halving a hotdog along its length is recommended.
  • Do not allow children to eat nuts or seeds by the handful, this is the second leading cause of hospitalization in food related choking incidents among children.
Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been the victim of a serious injury, contact our offices. We represent clients/victims all over the country. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.


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