Heimlich Heroes Blog


May 23, 2019

How to Prevent Summer Choking Emergencies

What do baseballs, hot dogs, steak, and bottle caps have in common?  Hot dogs, steak, and bottle caps are all common choking hazards – but when it comes to baseball it’s usually just the pitcher or batter that might choke –just seeing if you were paying attention.

Summertime is filled with fairs, festivals, swimming pools, and lots of fun! After a school year of hard work and homework, kids want to relax by the pool, play games at local fairs and hang out with friends!

But all that summer fun comes with summer choking hazards. Choking is the leading cause of death and injury among children, especially kids ages three and younger, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. With proper prevention, you will worry less about your kids when it comes to choking. Check out these helpful tips to keep your kids safe and summer enjoyable.

Review safe eating habits

Preventing a choking emergency can be as easy as explaining safe eating habits to your children. Talk about things like...

  • Sitting up straight, when eating
  • No running or goofing around
  • Taking small bites
  • Chewing food thoroughly

If trips to the swimming pool or fair are on the schedule, review some special guidelines. Riding rides and swimming can be very dangerous; especially if kids are trying to eat or chewing food. Make sure your kids are empty handed and empty mouthed before the fun begins.

Prepare Food with choking prevention in mind 

According to, 50% of choking episodes are food related. This percentage could be significantly decreased with proper food preparation.

Hot dogs are a big hit with kids, but they can also be a big choking hazard. Cut hot dogs into strips, then into pieces, instead of into rounds. The same procedure should be applied to foods like grapes and cheese sticks. Round foods are more likely to get stuck in the throat and cause choking – especially in little kids. 

Here comes the sun; let’s keep summer fun (and safe!).

Review safe eating habits, set special guidelines when on the go, and cut food into small pieces. Have a fun and safe summer!