It's a fact-babies explore their environments and will put anything and everything into their mouths. That's why it's important to never leave small objects within your baby's reach, even for  moment. 

  • NEVER feed your baby hard pieces of food such as chunks of raw carrots, apples, hot dogs, grapes, peanuts, and popcorn.
  • Cut all the foods you feed your baby into thin pieces to prevent choking.
  • Be prepared if your baby starts to choke. Ask your doctor to recommend the steps you need to know.

Follow these steps to prevent possible suffocation and reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

  • Your baby should always sleep on his or her back.
  • NEVER put your baby on a waterbed, beanbag, or anything that is soft enough to cover the face and block air to the nose and mouth.
  • Plastic wrappers and bags from a tight seal if placed over the mouth and nose, and may suffocate your child. Keep them away from your baby.

Choking Hazards Food List

The following foods should not be given to toddlers or children younger than age 5:

  • Hard candies, jelly beans, chewing gum
  • Popcorn, raisins, seeds and nuts

The following foods may be given to children between the ages of 2 and 5 only if they are cut into small pieces or strips:

  • Hot dogs (Slicing lengthwise before cutting crosswise reduces the risk of choking)
  • Grapes or cherries (Peeling, removing seeds or pits, and cutting in half reduces the risk)
  • Raw carrots, apples, celery, green beans (dicing or cutting into small strips reduces the risk)
  • Peanut butter (Spread thinly)
  • Large chunks of any food such as meat, potatoes or raw vegetables and fruits (dice or cut into small strips)

Be Ready to Rescue

Know how to do CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), and relieve and obstructed airway in infants and children. To locate a CPR class, contact your local hospital, fire department or Red Cross. Be sure to enroll in a class that teaches CPR and airway rescue techniques for infant and children as well as adults. If you prefer learning at home, self-instructional learning kits developed by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) can be purchased for about $35 per kit. Th kits, CPR Anytime and Infant CPR anytime, are appropriate for the instruction of parents, grandparents, siblings, babysitters and friends, and contain everything required to learn and practive CPR and choking rescue skills, including an instructional DVD and an inflatable manikin. For information about ordering these kits, call 1.877.AHA.4CPR, or visit

Obtain several copies of written CPR, choking rescue and first aid instructions. Place one chart on display in a convenient and highly visible location, such as on your refrigerator door, the back of your kitchen or bathroom door or the family bulletin board. Keep a chart with ever first-aid kit (home,car). For away-from-home emergencies, carry a chart with you in your tote, suitcase or the baby's diaper bag. A 3-in-1 First Aid, Choking, CPR Chart is available for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). You can order a copy by calling 888.227.1770 or ordering online from the AAP.

Post a list of emergency numbers beside every phone. (See sample Emergency Information form at the back of this book)

Teach your children how and when to call 911.

  • When calling 911, speak slowly and clearly, and provide the following information:
  • Your first and last name, and phone number.
  • Full address, including identifying landmarks.
  • What happened.
  • What is being done.
  • The condition of the child at the time of the call.
  • Request emergency instructions.
  • Stay on the line until the 911 dispatcher tells you to hang up.