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South Texas

Small Child Choking and Strangulation Hazards

Our children are very precious to us. As we know, when they are young and have such little experience with anything, babies and toddlers tend to be highly curious and inquisitive and often love to put all sorts of things into their mouths. Unfortunately, when an object is small enough it can easily become lodged in their windpipe, causing them to choke.

Leading Cause Of Childhood Death

According to a study from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), choking on children’s products, especially toys, is the leading cause of childhood death. In addition to that risk, however, products that feature long ropes and strings also pose a strangulation risk to small children, who may play with or try to swallow those as well.

Some research estimates a child dies from choking on food every five days in the United States, while thousands more are treated in emergency rooms for choking on all sorts of things, including food, chewing gum, buttons, claims, small balls, ribbons or even batteries. Strangulation, another big problem, can occur within a matter of minutes. This is why the CPSC has implemented strict rules with regard to a number of strangulation and entrapment hazards inside the home, including drawstrings on sweatshirts, curtains and blinds, ribbons and even pacifier strings and crib decorations.

Preventing Your Child From Choking

The most effective ways to prevent your child from choking, suffocating or strangling is to constantly watch them and to pay close attention to all of the toys and other household goods they have access to a daily basis. According to child safety experts, here are some tips for avoiding such tragedies from happening to your baby or toddler:

  • Always cut food for toddlers into very tiny pieces.
  • Make sure children are always eating while sitting upright and not while they are lying down or playing.
  • Always check toys for very small parts or other potential choking hazards.
  • When buying a toy or a game for a toddler, pay close attention to the age recommendations on the box and only buy those appropriate for that age group.
  • Keep small objects out of reach and out of sight of babies and toddlers.
  • Always examine things from your child’s perspective, even if you have to get down on your hands and knees to look at things from their eye level.
  • Keep all strings, lines and cords away from children, including necklaces, purses or clothing with drawstrings and don’t tie strings to pacifiers or toys.
  • Register all products and sign up for recall alerts, so that you can keep up to date.

If your child has been injured by choking or strangulation due to someone’s negligence or due to a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation from those parties responsible, which means you’ll need an attorney, like the personal injury attorneys at the Gutierrez Law Firm, to look at the facts and evaluate your legal options. Contact us today for a free consultation.