Suffocation, Strangling, and Choking
Each year hundreds of people die after choking on food or other small items. Most deaths involve infants, toddlers, and the elderly.
Tips to prevent choking and suffocation
- Learn how to use the Heimlich maneuver to remove something stuck in a person’s throat.
- Keep small objects away from toddlers. Anything that is small enough to pass through a toilet paper tube is a choking hazard.
- Place infants on their backs to sleep. Use a firm crib mattress and avoid soft bedding.
- Cut the ends of drape and blind cords. Use cord wind ups, tie downs or call 1-800-506-4636 for a free repair kit.
- Remove drawstrings from children’s clothing.
- Don’t serve foods that are hard to chew. Toddlers and some older people have trouble chewing and swallowing foods. Cut fruits and vegetables, hot dogs, and other hard foods into bite-sized pieces.
- Remove doors before throwing out old appliances.
- Keep plastic bags away from children. A thin plastic bag can suffocate a child.
- Keep empty balloons and balloon pieces away from small children.
Source: Wisconsin Department of Health Services