Treat Responsibly: Simple Tips to Prevent Choking

Harris and Susan. discuss treating responsibly.

Harris and Susan W. discuss treating responsibly.

Just yesterday, my candy-lovin’ colleague Susan W. brought her adorable eight-month-old son Harris for a visit to the office. While snapping pictures, I thought about the dangers that children, and their parents, are presented with each day. Particularly relevant to the food industry are choking hazards for small children, and over the last week you may have read about a new study on foods commonly associated with choking. Almost any type of food can be a choking hazard, unfortunately; some of the most common include seeds, nuts, hard candies, chunks of fruit or vegetables, and even some meats.

The National Confectioners Association and the confectionery industry recommend that children under the age of four not be given any hard candies and that parents or other adults should always supervise the consumption of any food among young children. Even older children should be taught safe food consumption, such as not running or playing with food in their mouths, to help prevent choking.

For more information on choking prevention, please reference the following websites:

Safe Kids USA

Prevent Choking-It’s Up To You


  1. Amanda says:

    Great tips! You should re-post during Halloween time!

  2. Alison says:

    As a parent, I’ve always paranoid about choking. I still am, but less so now that my kids are 9 and 10. One rule in our house is that foods may only be eaten while sitting at the table – no eating in front of the tv, no eating in their rooms, and definitely no eating while playing. A side benefit….no M&Ms or lollipop sticks under my couch cushions!

  3. Susan W says:

    My son just started eating “solid” food about 6 weeks ago. I can already see how easy it would be for him to choke on something in the blink of an eye – even though most of his food is still pureed. He gets so excited about flavors he loves that am already reminding him to calm down and take his time. I love Alison’s House Rule to help prevent choking.

  4. Susan. K. says:

    I have actually parformed the Heimlich maneuver on two individuals who were choking on food – successfully, thank goodness. So I am well aware of tis hazard even for adults, who are at less risk than small children.. I recommend that everyone learn what to so when they see someone choking, and to be especially vigilant with small children. These emergencies require different techniques for babies and small children than for adults, so please be vigilant and educate yourself on what to do!

  5. Liz says:

    Not having spent much time around small children, I really wasn’t aware of this issue. Now that I’m going to be an auntie soon (yay!) I’ll be sure to be vigilant with my niece. Thank you, Allison, for bringing it to light!

  6. Susan smith says:

    As I was raising my children it became clear to me that “running with food” was, just like “running with scissors”, not a good idea. Great advice from Alison on sitting down to eat your food which encourages thinking about what one is doing.

  7. Anna says:

    Great article. Thanks for the tips!