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Food Safety Advice

For babies and young children food can be a choking hazard, especially when they do not chew their food well, or they try to swallow it whole.


This diagram notes some of the biggest choking hazards for children.

Children can start choking on food without warning - it is so important to watch your children whilst they are eating and ensure any food given to them is cut in a way that makes it safe for them to eat.


Top tips for food safety:

  1. Make sure food is suitably prepared and served for babies and children under 5 years old. For suitable foods, see https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/weaning/ Introduce babies to solid foods from around 6 months of age.

  2. Think about size, shape and texture of food. Cut food into narrow batons, avoid round shapes and firm foods. Firm fruit & vegetables can be softened by cooking.

  3. Ensure that babies and young children are alert and seated safely upright in a highchair or appropriately sized low chair whilst eating.

  4. Babies and young children should be supervised at all times while eating. You will be able to identify the early signs of choking and prevent harm.

  5. Encourage babies and young children to chew food well. Teach children how to chew and swallow food properly, and ensure they take their time during meals. This will reduce their risk of choking.


Click this link for guidance on how to prepare food for young children.

Early-Years-Choking-Hazards-Table_FINAL_21-Sept-2021
.pdf
Download PDF • 211KB

Did you know?

Children should never be given boiled sweets, chewing gum or marshmallows as these sweet treats are choking hazards.


Care givers and parents should be familiar with how to respond to a choking incident in line with guidance on first aid for children.


How to stop a child from choking: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/first-aid-andsafety/first-aid/how-to-stop-a-child-from-choking/

How to resuscitate a child: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/first-aid-and-safety/firstaid/how-to-resuscitate-a-child/


Useful Links:

https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/infantandtoddlernutrition/foods-and-drinks/choking-hazards.html

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/health-wellness-and-safety-resources/education-store/choking-hazard-safety




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