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Causes of Choking in Little Children

Posted Dec 15 2013 5:29pm

I was on an airplance a few days ago and watched in fear as I saw a mother giving her little child peanuts. The little boy couldn't  have been more than one-year-old. I wanted to say "Please don't do that", but instead got up and ask the flight attendant in the back of the plane how often they had problems with peanuts and little children choking. His reply was "Quite often". I wish the airlines would not give little sacks of peanuts to passengers or parents were more aware of the dangers.

A friend's fifteen-month-old granddaughter was recently given a chunk of raw carrot by her mother and ended up in the emergency room. The child almost stopped breathing and the carrot chunk had to be surgically removed. Other causes of choking are hotdogs, cubes of cheese, hard candies, popcorn, marshmellows, gumballs and grapes. I also worry about cheerios  which I have seen given to even very small children.

One child I saw when I was taking another doctor's practice, before I started my own pediatric practice, was a little boy who was very croupy. The parents had seen two or three other doctors and a chest X-ray had been taken. I asked that the chest X-ray be repeated to include the neck. Whne the immediate report was called to me, I was told there was a safety pin in the windpipe or trachea! A pediatric ear, nose and throat doctor removed the safety pin and the cough went away. Remember that little  children will put almost anything in their mouths and they have a very small feeding tube or esophagus.

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