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Top tips to avoid choking

Top tips to avoid choking


STAY – Stay with children when they are eating – it is the biggest thing you can do for them.

STILL – Get children to sit still – it can be a battle, but it is much safer.

  • Cut up foods that are round, hard, chunky, doughy, or stodgy.
  • Sausages or hot dogs – cut into short, narrow strips lengthways as thin as possible. Removing the skin makes them easier to swallow.
  • Meat – cut into strips and remove any bones, skin, or fat.
  • Fruit – check for pips or stones and remove them.
  • Round fruit (grapes, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and cherry tomatoes) – cut lengthways and then into quarters.
  • Vegetables and larger fruit (melon, apple, mango, carrot, and cucumber) – cut into thin strips, grate or mash, steam, or simmer.
  • Legumes (chickpeas and butter beans) – mash or steam to soften them.
  • Nuts and seeds – chop or flake (Whole nuts should not be given to under 5’s)
  • Cheese – cut into narrow batons or strips.
  • Bread – Cut all types of bread into narrow strips. White bread can form a doughy ball, so brown or toasted bread is a good option.
  • Remove skin from fruits or vegetables to make them easier to swallow.

AVOID these foods – for babies and young children.

  • Popcorn
  • Marshmallows
  • Round Hard Sweets – including lollipops.
  • Mini-Eggs
  • Jelly cubes
  • Peanut butter (but ok to use as a spread)
  • Whole grapes


First Aid for choking:

Knowing what to do if someone is choking can give the best chance of recovery. St John’s

Ambulance have produced some advice and released some videos on first aid for choking: Child Choking – Paediatric First Aid | St John Ambulance (sja.org.uk)