Choking Incidents Among Children – Risks, Hazards and Safety Measures


Children are at risk for choking on food items and foreign objects due to physical and developmental factors. Choking can result in a transient or temporary event that causes no significant injuries. In other cases, choking can result in serious airway obstruction or blockage that can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

Children, especially those 5 and younger, need to be closely supervised and monitored. Food items can cause a child to choke. In addition, small foreign objects like coins, buttons, small toy parts, and other common items can cause choking incidents as well. Prevention is key to reduce the incidents of choking. When a choking incident does happen, timely response to vital to protect the health, safety and welfare of the child. A personal injury claim on behalf of a Florida child can be pursued if there was negligence in allowing the child to ingest the dangerous food item or foreign object OR if there was a serious delay in responding to the emergency situation involving a choking incident.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has conducted and published studies relating to choking incidents involving children. In 2001, over 17,000 children under the age of 14 were treated in emergency rooms for choking problems and complications. More than half of the incidents involved food items.

Almost 20 % of choking incidents requiring emergency room treatment involved candy items. Some involve hard candy and some involve soft candy like Gummy Bears.

Kids are still ingesting coins which accounted for approximately 18 % of emergency room visits in children between the ages of 1 and 4. You can read more about the CDC Study and Findings at Choking Incidents – Emergency Room Visits and Injuries.