Choking checklist

Choking checklist

Babies and children can choke on food at any age but those under 5 are at higher risk, and especially children and babies under 3. Watch a video about ways to reduce the choking risk.

Video transcript

Be aware of foods that are more likely to cause choking.

Small hard foods

Small hard foods that are difficult for children to bite or chew (eg, nuts, large seeds, popcorn husks, raw apple, carrot and celery)

Dried fruit pieces, raw apple pieces, raw carrot pieces

Small round foods

Small round foods that can get stuck in children’s throats (eg, grapes, berries, raisins/sultanas, peas, watermelon seeds, lollies)

Small round tomatoes, green grapes, red grapes

Foods with skins or leaves

Foods with skins or leaves that are difficult to chew (eg, sausages, chicken, lettuce, nectarines)

Apples and plums with skins on

Foods that can squash down 

Food that can squash down into the shape of your baby’s throat and get stuck (eg, hot dogs, sausages, pieces of cooked meat, popcorn)

Cheerios (small saveloys)

Thick pastes

Thick pastes that can get stuck in children’s throats (eg, chocolate spreads, peanut butter)

Peanut butter, chocolate spread

Fibrous or stringy foods

Fibrous or stringy foods that are difficult for children to chew (eg, celery, raw pineapple)

Raw celery stick, raw pineapple

Some tips for reducing choking risk

To reduce the risk of choking on these foods, you can:
 

Alter the food texture

 
Grated carrot

Remove the high-risk parts of the food – peel off the skin or remove the strong fibres

Raw silverbeet with stem partially removed, apple partly peeled, a knife


Avoid giving small hard foods, such as whole nuts and large seeds until children are at least 5 years old

Whole nuts (almonds), large seeds (pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds), unpopped popcorn husks

 

This page last reviewed 05 June 2013.
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