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Choking Prevention: A Thanksgiving Tradition

Updated: Jan 14

It is very common for kids to choke over different things. It could be their miniature toys or small objects around the house, but it is often food. This is especially true when there is so much to eat and different food platters to savor, especially on festivities like Thanksgiving.

Aside from the skillfully roasted turkey and perfectly mashed potatoes, another Thanksgiving tradition is ensuring your kids do not choke on their food. With a lot of delicacies to ravish within a short time, it is no wonder why kids may eagerly finish their food, sometimes resulting in choking.

thanksgiving table

Different foods can be choking hazards for kids, especially when not properly chewed before being swallowed. Most frequently, nuts, meat and cheese chunks, popcorn, and raisins are choked on by children at the highest rate. Statistics show that at least one child dies from choking on food every five days in the U.S., and choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death in children under 5.

Nonetheless, there are preventive measures to take.

So today, we are going into choking prevention tips and what to do if your child chokes on their food. And it won’t be a well-thought-out lesson if we do not first identify the signs of choking. So, here you go:

Signs your kid is choking

  • Inability to cry or make any noise.

  • The inability to breathe or difficulty breathing is usually signified by a high-pitched sound when breathing in.

  • Clutching at chest or throat.

  • Violent coughing to free up the airway.

  • Pale or flushed lips and skin color are usually bluish or dusty.

  • Loss of consciousness and going limp, especially when there is a total blockage.

Choking prevention: how to avoid choking episodes

1. Cut food into smaller pieces

Eating food sizes that are difficult or too large to swallow may cause your kid to choke. We advise you to cut food into smaller sizes to aid your kid to chew properly, which ultimately helps swallowing and digestion.

2. Keep random small objects out of the way

Household objects are at the top of the list of choking hazards for kids. If you have toddlers around the house, especially those who can crawl, you should regularly keep away small objects like coins, balloons, buttons, pins, and the like from lying around the house.

3. Ensure your kids sit while they eat

Eating while standing, running, or playing catalyzes food-induced choking accidents. Ensure your kids are static when eating, in the right position, and in a high chair.

4. Supervising and watching your kids during meals

is insufficient to prop them to the right eating posture. You should also be there to watch them while they eat, especially the babies and toddlers. Ensure they do not hurriedly eat their foods and eat chunks in bits.

5. Allow only age-appropriate toys

Give your kids age-appropriate toys to play with. Most toys come with age-appropriate tags; kids younger than the appropriate age may be vulnerable to injuries and hazards when playing with the toy.

What to do if your child is choking

The first thing to do is to call 911 and cry for help. While the paramedics are on their way, you can give the following first aid measures:

  • Perform the Heimlich maneuver and other choking first aids if you can EXCEPT your kid is coughing forcefully or showing signs of normal breathing.

  • Avoid trying to pull out the object if your kid is conscious.

  • If your kid is unconscious, start CPR and take the object out of their mouth only if you can see it.

  • Give back blows, chest thrusts, and abdominal thrusts.


Your child’s health is of utmost importance. It is important that your nannies and caregivers know simple choking hazards and how to prevent them. Your nanny should also know first aid measures and other choking intervention measures in cases of related events.

Trust The Elite Nanny Team (TENT Group) for nannies with professional training in administering CPR, first aid, and other health-related interventions.

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