Parenting / 5 June, 2018 / RoSPA
Choking is one of the leading causes of death for children under the age of three. On average, a child dies in the UK every month from choking, and hundreds more require hospital treatment. It can happen so quickly, and the effects can be devastating.
Children can swallow, inhale or choke on items such as small toys, fruits, peanuts, batteries and marbles, and shockingly nappy sacks, the plastic bags used to dispose of soiled nappies, and blind cords can also pose a risk to babies and young children. We are aware of at least 18 deaths involving nappy sacks since 2001, where babies have suffocated after a nappy sack covered their mouth and nose, or have choked after putting a nappy sack in their mouth. We also know of at least 30 deaths and narrow escapes caused by strangulation from blind cords.
Babies and children are most at risk of choking and suffocating because of their curious nature, examining things by putting them in their mouths, but there are steps that can be taken to prevent this.
Here are some tips for choking and suffocation prevention:
Another item that can cause serious harm to young children, which may come as a shock to parents, is button cell batteries. Although a child may not choke on them, if undetected the batteries can do serious damage to the gastrointestinal system. When combined with saliva, the electrical current from the battery produces caustic soda that burns through the throat or stomach and can cause further damage to other internal organs.
To prevent your child swallowing a button cell battery, you should:
To find out more about preventing choking and suffocation, visit: www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/child-safety/accidents-to-children/#suffocating