Beware grapes – the overlooked choking hazard
Fresh fruit and vegetable platters are popular healthy snack options in early years settings. But care is required ensure that children are not inadvertently exposed to choking hazards.
Grapes and cherry tomatoes
Whole grapes and cherry tomatoes are choking hazards for young children under the age of 3 years. The shape and size of grapes means they are easily lodged in children’s airways and are difficult to remove with recommended first aid manoeuvres. If grapes or cherry tomatoes are to be included on platters for the under 3 age groups, they should be cut in half.
Hard foods for babies
Babies should be introduced to solids at around 6 months and should progress through increasingly lumpier foods to be having soft finger foods by 11 months. Hard items such as raw carrot and apple can be choking hazards for babies (and some toddlers) who are still learning to chew. Hard uncooked fruits and vegetables should not be given to babies. Vegetable platters are a great option for snacks. Consider steamed vegetable sticks such as steamed beans and steamed carrot sticks for vegetable platters in your babies room.
To further reduce the risk of choking it is important that children are supervised at all times while eating and children sit while they are eating.