The Risks of Choking at Daycares
Parents understand the risk of choking when it comes to babies and toddlers. That’s why you take extra precautions, like cutting up your child’s food and paying attention to the age recommendations on toys– all to protect your kids from choking. So, you’d expect your child’s daycare to do the same, right? Sadly, daycares don’t always take the necessary precautions and put young children at serious risk of choking. That’s why we want to discuss the most common causes of choking injuries at daycare and make parents aware of what to look out for in dangerous daycares.
Foods That Can Cause Choking Incidents at Daycare
Some of the most common ways choking incidents happen at daycare include:
- Food, like hot dogs, apples, carrots, or grapes, are not cut up small enough,
- Children are given chewy and sticky foods like peanut butter, marshmallows, or raisins. These foods can be difficult for younger kids to swallow,
- Children aren’t being fed properly – for example, they aren’t sitting down when eating, or they’re not sitting upright,
- Dangerous everyday objects like marbles, pens, marker caps, or small rocks are out and accessible to kids,
- Kids might be playing with small toys that aren’t age-appropriate, or kids have access to broken toy parts and aren’t being properly supervised.
Common Hazardous Objects That Can Cause Choking Incidents
Other common objects that can become lodged in a child’s throat and can cause a choking injury include:
- Batteries, particularly button batteries. These can often come from toys that don’t have a secure battery closure,
- Balloons – popped latex balloons can get stuck in the child’s airway,
- Arts and crafts supplies like beads and buttons,
- Tops of soda cans or water bottle caps,
- and coins.
How Daycares Can Prevent Choking Incidents
Daycares can and must prevent these choking events from happening. Ways they can do this are:
- Cutting food small enough and carefully watching kids while they eat
- Giving children age-appropriate food - for example, babies under one year should never be given peanut butter or raisins as it may be difficult for them to swallow.
- Ensuring areas where children will be present are clean and free of hazardous objects.
It’s important to note that caregivers should always monitor children in case they get their hands on something dangerous and ensure the children in their care are playing with age-appropriate toys and being closely supervised when playing.
Additionally, all caregivers should be trained in CPR in case something goes wrong. Child safety should always be the daycare’s top priority – that’s exactly why they must closely monitor the kids. If not, choking can lead to life-altering injuries, primarily from asphyxiation, which is also known as loss of oxygen. Injuries from asphyxiation can result in brain damage or even death. If your child is the victim of a choking event at daycare, it’s important to hold the daycare accountable to prevent it from happening to another family.
To learn more about what steps to take, be sure to contact our daycare injury lawyers today. We’re here as a resource for families - to guide them through recovering from serious injuries and begin moving forward. If you’re not quite ready to speak to a member of our team, we understand. Be sure to download our free guide, 5 Steps to Take After a Daycare Injury. It’s linked here.