by BreeAnn Silcox, coalition coordinator, Bear River Health Department
Babies and small children are constantly putting things in their mouths as a way to explore their environment. However, toys, small objects and even food can be potential choking hazards. Here are some tips from Safe Kids to help you keep your little ones safe.
- Cut food for toddlers into tiny pieces. Children under 5 years old should not eat small, round or hard foods, including pieces of hot dogs, cheese sticks or chunks, hard candy, nuts, grapes, marshmallows or popcorn.
- Consider your child’s age when purchasing a toy or game. It’s worth a second to read the instructions and warning labels to make sure it’s right for your child.
- Keep small magnets away from children. These include magnets found in construction sets, children’s toys or stress-relieving, office toys; refrigerator magnets; and rare earth magnets (such as buckyballs).
- Keep small objects out of reach for your child. This includes buttons, beads, jewelry, pins, nails, marbles, coins, stones and tacks.
- Use a toilet paper roll to “test.”If a toy or object fits inside of a toilet paper roll, it could be a choking hazard.
For more information on how you can prevent choking hazards in your home, visit safekids.org or call the Bear River Health Department at (435) 792-6510.