Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hot Dogs Can Be Lethal for Children, Doctors Say

Source: Globe and Mail (Summary by NIM)

Hot Dogs are a North American staple - most of us have grown up eating them and continue to do so. What few people realize, however, is how much of a choking hazard they are to young children. If you ask Joan Stavros Adler, a bereaved mother, you'd find out just how easy it is for kids to choke on common foods like hot dogs.

Choking kills more than 100 American children 14 years or younger each year, with a much larger number being treated in emergency rooms across the nation. The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging for stricter, more prominent labelling and indication of the choking hazards for children on food packages similar to those found on toy packages.

Other high-risk foods for kids include raw carrots, grapes and apples, which should be cut up into smaller pieces for children in order to reduce the possibility of choking. Other, smaller foods such as nuts should potentially be avoided as they also pose a high risk for choking. Even simple changes such as making lollipops flat instead of spheres makes a huge difference in terms of reducing choking risk.

Find out more by reading the article called "Doctors urge change of shape for hot dogs" from the Globe and Mail (Feb. 22, 2010).