Top Choking Hazard Stats Revealed

Research tallies the biggest food offenders for children’s choking

Hard candies are the number one choking hazard for young children, study finds.

You know candy rots your teeth, but could it endanger your tot’s life, too?

Data has revealed the top choking hazards for children in the U.S. The biggest danger? Hard candy.

An eight-year study spanning from 2001 to 2009 showed that more than 16,000 children were admitted to emergency rooms across the country due to hard candy choking alone. All of these children were under the age of 15. 

Other foods that could be major choking hazards include other candies, accounting for over 13,000 visits, meat with more than 12,500 visits, and bone with more than 12,000 visits. In total, nonfatal food choking accounted for a total of nearly 112,000 child emergency room visits across the duration of the study.

The good news is that only 10 percent of children treated for choking needed to be hospitalized. Those who were choking on nuts, seeds, or hot dogs were more frequently in need of hospitalization.

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Researchers suggest that children are more likely to choke on foods because they are still learning how to chew. Their teeth may be less developed or fewer in number than adults’, and their activity level is often higher as well, making the risk of choking greater.