Australian parents are being warned over the potential choking hazards of popular snacks.
Marshmallows and popcorn — two favourite snacks among children — made the list of common offenders when it comes to choking hazards for kids.
Tiny Hearts Education warned the average marshmallow size is “very similar to that of a little one’s airway”.
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“These sticky treats are a huge choking risk, which is tricky because they’re often served with baby-cinos,” it warned.
“If swallowed whole, the marshmallow could become easily lodged in the front resulting in a complete obstruction and a choking emergency.”
The children’s first aid education site added when marshmallows are mixed with saliva it causes its consistency to change and become sticky, often making it difficult for children to swallow.
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“This texture also prevents back blows from being effective if a marshmallow was to become lodged a child’s throat,” it warned.
These treats should be avoided until at least the age of three, and should be ripped into quarters, before being given to youngsters.
Another popular treat that poses a huge choking risk to young children is popcorn.
“Popcorn is a big choking risk, but also poses a risk for aspiration (being breathed into the lungs),” Tiny Hearts warned.
The snack should be avoided until a child is at least three-years old.
In fact, any snack that is round, firm or slippery may be considered a choking hazard to young children, such as grapes.
Three choking rules
Children under the age of three are at the highest risk of choking.
Here are the top three choking rules to keep your little one safe.
Always keep your eyes on your little one when they are eating. Choking is silent. You must always be in arm’s reach.The safest place for your child to eat is in their high chair sitting at a 90-degree angle with their shoulders directly above their hips. This allows them control of the food in their mouth and helps protect the airway while they are swallowing.Avoid sticking your fingers in your child’s mouth. This can push the food back further. It can also distress your child, cause them to breathe in and potentially choke. You need to teach your child to spit out their food by mimicking that behaviour.