When children begin crawling or eating table foods, parents must be aware of the dangers and risks of choking. Children younger than 5 years can easily choke on food and small objects.

Choking occurs when food or small objects get caught in the throat and block the airway. This can prevent oxygen from getting to the lungs and the brain. When the brain goes without oxygen for more than 4 minutes, brain damage or even death may occur.

Many children die from choking each year, and some children who survive a severe choking episode have permanent, life-changing brain injuries. Most children who choke to death are younger than 5 years. Two-thirds of choking victims are infants younger than 1 year. Balloons, balls, marbles, pieces of toys, and foods cause the most choking deaths.

Read more about choking prevention and first aid.

Keep dangerous foods from children until 4 years of...

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