Choking on food and other objects - children
child; choking; choke; ;
Choking is a risk for babies and young children. It is important to take care that your home (and any other place where your young child will be) does not have small things around that they can put in their mouth. Food can also be a choking hazard. It is also a good idea to do a first aid course so you will feel confident to cope with any accident that could happen to your child.
Young children are at risk of choking because they:
- put small objects into their mouths
- do not have the back teeth needed to chew and grind lumps of food fully
- are still learning to eat, chew and swallow
- may run, play, laugh or cry while there is something in their mouth.
Gagging is different to choking. Gagging is a normal part of learning to eat chewable foods. It is a normal response and children recover quickly. Children should gag less as their chewing skills develop.
More to read
Women's and Children's Health Network Fact sheet - South Australia
What to do if a child is choking
Raising Children Network
Kidsafe flow chart
for managing choking in children
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).
This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.