Preventing Choking

Many infants and children die each year from choking. These deaths can be prevented if parents and care givers watch their children more closely and keep dangerous toys, foods, and household items out of their reach.

Safety Tips for Preventing Choking
If you are the parent or care giver of an infant or child under 4 years old, follow these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce the chances of choking.

At Mealtime

> Insist that your children eats sitting down. Watch young children while they eat. Encourage them to eat slowly and chew their food well.

> Cut up foods that are firm and round and can get stuck in your child's airway, such as:
  1. grapes-cut them into quarters
  2. raw vegetables-cut them into small strips or pieces that are not round

> Other foods that can pose a choking hazard include:
  1. hard or sticky candy, like whole peppermints or caramels
  2. nuts and seeds (don't give peanuts to children under age 7)
  3. popcorn
  4. spoonfuls of peanut butter

During Playtime

> Follow the age recommendations on toy packages. Any toy that is small enough to fit through a 1 1/4-inch circle or is smaller than 2 1/4 inches long is unsafe for children under 4 years old.

> Don't allow young children to play with toys designed for older children. Teach older children to put their toys away as soon as they finish playing so young siblings can't get them.

> Frequently check under furniture and between cushions for dangerous items young children could find, including:
  1. coins
  2. marbles
  3. watch batteries (the ones that look like buttons)
  4. pen or marker caps
  5. cars with small rubber wheels that come off
  6. small balls or foam balls that can be compressed to a size small enough to fit in a child's mouth

> Never let your child play with or chew on latex balloons. Many young children have died from swallowing or inhaling them.

> Don't let your small child play on bean bag chairs made with small foam pellets. If the bag opens or rips, the child could inhale these tiny pieces.

> If you're a parent, grandparent, or other care giver, learn how to help a choking child and how to perform CPR in case of an emergency.

The Problem: Who Is Affected?
More than 2,800 people die each year from choking; many of them are children. According to one study, nearly two-thirds of the children who choked to death during a 20-year period were 3 years old or younger. The majority of choking deaths are caused by toys and household items. Nearly 70 percent of choking deaths among children age 3 and under were caused by toys and other products made for children. According to CDC, balloons account for 7 to 10 deaths a year. The most common cause of nonfatal choking incidents is food.


Following the Child

This commonly used phrase comes from the Montessori practice of observing children in their natural environment (e.g. the prepared classroom)
and using their interests and level of ability as a
guide. The caregiver provides appropriate material
and adapts to meet the needs of each child accordingly.

Using Best Early Childhood Practices

Our programs are adapted for the specific areas
we engage in (e.g. rural environments) and utilize
time tested methods to make impact at the
grassroots level. We have a dedicated core of
experienced developers and trainers, with
backgrounds in a multitude of ECD disciplines.

Creating a More Peaceful and Sustainable World

By focusing on the early years, our programs capitalize on a window of opportunity when the brain is still forming and a person is most conducive to internalizing humanistic principles. By instilling a strong framework of values and ethics in our children, we plant seeds for future prosperity in the world.

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