Childrens Services Council - Child Safety


Choking & Strangulation


Some children can’t help themselves — they must stick everything in their mouths.

The majority of choking incidents involving children happen within the home. Almost 60 percent of all non-fatal choking cases are food-related, while another 32 percent involve swallowing either coins or gum.

Safe Kids Worldwide recommends:

  • Cut food for toddlers into tiny pieces. Children under 5 years old should not eat small round or hard foods, including pieces of hot dogs, hard candy, nuts, grapes, marshmallows or popcorn.
  • Remember to have young children sitting upright when eating, not lying down or playing.
  • Before you buy toys or games consider whether they are age appropriate and if there are any choking hazards.
  • Keep small objects out of reach and sight. Such objects include coins, buttons, beads, jewelry, pins, nails, marbles and tacks.
  • Keep small magnets away from children. These include magnets found in construction sets, children’s toys or stress-relieving adult desk toys; refrigerator magnets and rare-earth magnets such as Buckyballs.
  • Cords and strings to window blinds should be out of a child’s reach and there should not be furniture nearby.
  • Remove necklaces, purses, scarves, helmets or clothing with drawstrings when a child is playing or sleeping. Remove bibs before a child goes to sleep.


Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County
2300 High Ridge Road, Boynton Beach, FL 33426
561-740-7000 or 1-800-331-1462
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