Skip navigation
B. How to Prevent the Risk of Food-Related Choking in Young Children

Narrator: This is Science Today. According to human health experts, every five days a child in the United States dies from choking on food. University of California, Berkeley nutrition expert Joanne Ikeda, says infants and children up to three years of age are most susceptible.

Ikeda: The food that is most often the culprit is hot dog products. Unfortunately, they're round and they're fairly bulky and it's easy for them to be caught in the trachea, so it's very important that hot dog products be cut in smaller pieces, not in round, circular pieces for children. Those circular pieces should then be cut in half or in quarters.

Narrator: Other foods that children choke on are round candies - especially of the hard variety. The more nutritious, yet equally circular, grapes and nuts may also cause a child to choke.

Ikeda: So those are the foods that babysitters and parents need to be very, very careful about giving to children under three years old.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.