How to Avoid Choking. Choking is a very common, but potentially life-threatening, form of emergency. To avoid choking, we can all take some simple, common-sense precautions. Accidents happen, and there is no way to completely avoid the risk of choking, but with a few guidelines, you can greatly reduce it. Read on to learn how to avoid choking.
Take small bites. Cut food, especially meat, into small pieces. Be careful with especially dry foods, such as pretzels and bread.
Chew all food completely. Enzymes in your saliva help break down the food in advance, so that it goes down more easily. Bites should not cause difficulty in swallowing.
Cut food for small children into very manageable bites. Hamburgers, hot dogs and even fruits should be cut for children. Hot dogs, bananas and grapes should be cut lengthwise. Supervise young children's eating closely.
Avoid giving hard or especially dry foods to children under the age of four or five. These include nuts, gum drops, popcorn and hard candy--anything that could easily be caught in the throat.
Teach young children not to put stray objects into their mouths, and keep your floors clean of small objects, such as marbles, small office supplies or other choking hazards.
Select toys carefully, paying close attention to the age limits on the boxes. Avoid toys with small, removable parts for young children, and warn older children about keeping them out of reach of younger siblings or visitors.
Pick up a copy of "Household Safety Sourcebook" by Dawn D. Matthews. See the Resources section below for a link. This book contains helpful advice about choking, including how to avoid it.