Suffocation, Strangling, and Choking

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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
http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/hometips/