Heimlich Heroes Blog


Feb 11, 2019

Prevent Choking in Your Home

Little ones constantly explore their environment by touching, smelling, and putting things into their mouths. 


Although supervision is obviously the best way to prevent an accident from happening, parents can’t watch their kids every second of the day. So what precautions can you take to decrease the risk of choking in your home? Here are five simple tips:

1.  Start by baby/child proofing your home. Be aware of what is on the floor and within your child’s reach.  Lay down on the floor and look around to see things from their view - you might think those cords are hidden away, but they are oh so inviting for a toddler to pull on. And keep in mind that babies see everything as something to check out. If there are older siblings in the house, help them build the habit of picking up their toys when they are done playing and putting them out of reach of the little ones.

Here's the thing, if it can slide through a toilet paper roll, it should be out of the reach of small children. And please always determine to purchase toys that are age appropriate for your child. There is a reason there is an age recommendation listed.


2.  Children and toddlers should sit up straight and be supervised while eating and playing. Laying down or walking around when eating is just asking for trouble.


3.  Teach your children how to properly eat and chew their food: 

  • Chew food thoroughly - 

Did you know that according to the experts at The Ohio State University, you should chew softer foods 5-10 times, and more dense foods like meats and vegetables up to 30 times before swallowing!

  • Don’t talk or laugh while there is food in the mouth
  • Take small bites
  • Finish one bite before putting more in your mouth


4.  Cook or steam your vegetables to soften their texture. Always cut food into small pieces for young children. Foods like nuts, hot dogs and grapes are easy to choke on and need to be cut into small strips rather than rounds. A toddler’s trachea is only about the diameter of a straw.



5.  Know the Heimlich Maneuver® for infants, children, and adults. If someone is choking, they are not able to talk, cough, or breathe; their face will turn red and eventually blue. This is a medical emergency and could cause brain damage if the airway is blocked for more than four minutes. The Heimlich Maneuver® is proven to help a choking victim. 

Choking can happen in the blink of an eye and the results can be fatal. Use the tips above to minimize that risk with your family. Explore our video section to learn more.