Choking Safety with toys and Infants

When you are a new parent, the safety of your child is paramount.  This can make some challenges when looking for the best toys to give your infant for Christmas.  We always fear that our kids will take the wrong toy and end up putting a part of the toy in their mouths too far that they choke on it.  We have some recommendations on what to look for when you are trying to select the correct and safest toy for your infant or toddler.  

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics have suggestions on toy safety which include:

  • Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child.
  • When choosing gifts for babies and toddlers, consider toys that will build developmental skills. Toys that can be manipulated, such as shape sorters, stacking blocks, and baby-safe puzzles, are great for developing fine motor, cognitive, and perceptual skills.
  • Look for toys without small pieces. Young children can choke on small parts contained in toys or games. Government regulations specify that toys for children under age three cannot have parts less than 1 1/4 inches in diameter and 2 1/4 inches long.
  • Remove tags, strings, and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children. Watch for pull toys with lines that are more than 12 inches long, because they could be a strangulation hazard for babies.

If you like more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for your infant or child, you can click here. 

When Your Child Chokes

If you find that your child has placed something in their mouths and they seem to have problems getting the object out, you as a parent should not panic. 

Your child may cough and have labored breathing.  This means that the airway not obstructed and you should stay with the child to encourage them to keep coughing.  Usually, they will be able to push it forward and have a full recovery.  

If the airway seems wholly obstructed, and there is no air exchange.  Then if it is an Infant you need to pick up the child and place them face down and give five back slaps, then roll them to their back and give five chest thrusts in your arms.  Usually, it only takes a few slaps, and the object will come out.  

Toddlers need to be handled a little differently. We suggest to treat them more like the adult with the abdominal thrust instead of the back slaps. To give you a bit more insight we have a video below to help illustrate how to save a child from choking.