Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hot Dogs: A Major Choking Hazard for Toddlers

In the past two years I've known two toddlers who've died by choking on hot dogs and feel the need to pass on the following information as a reminder to fellow parents.

Hot dogs are especially dangerous for young children because of the cylindrical shape, it can wedge itself perfectly into a child's windpipe and block airways. What most people don’t realize is that the circumference of a hot dog is nearly the same size as a child’s throat. When a round slice or bite of hot dog is swallowed without being chewed, the piece can lodge in the throat causing suffocation, sometimes within a matter of minutes.

According to U.S. News & World Report, "Choking is a leading cause of injury and death in young children, and food is one of the main culprits, causing 60 percent of the 17,000 choking cases that land kids in the emergency room each year. Between 66 and 77 children under age 10 die from choking on food each year. And because of the cylindrical shape that seems custom-made to lodge in a kid's throat, hot dogs are the food most commonly associated with fatal choking among children."

This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending hot dogs come with a warning label.

How to cut a hot dog into pieces so they are less likely to cause choking:
1. First slice the hotdog in half length wise.
2. Then slice the hotdog into small pieces along the width of the hot dog

What do when an an infant or toddler is choking from the Pediatric Care Alliance.


  1. Thank you for sharing this, Jen.

  2. thanks. Hope you are doing well. Julie and Jason