Pediatricians warn about choking hazards; want certain foods labeled

Regulations and warning labels should be placed on dangerous food items to protect children from choking, according to a policy statement released this week by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Although law requires warning labels to be placed on toys that may pose a choking hazard, Elk Grove Village, IL-based AAP points out that potentially dangerous food items have no such requirements. The academy recommends including warning labels on foods, and suggests a recall of food products that pose a significant choking risk to children. AAP also called on food manufacturers to redesign food items to make them safer for consumption by children.

AAP offers the following tips to help minimize choking hazards associated with food:

  • Do not give children younger than 4 any round, firm foods unless they have been cut into very small pieces.
  • Do not give toddlers other high-risk foods such as hard candies, nuts, seeds or raw carrots.
  • Never let young children run, play or lie down while eating.

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