Swallowing Hazards: How to Keep Kids Safe

Children aged 1-3 are at the highest risk for choking or ingestion of poisons or medications.

Talk with your doctor about the steps you need to know if your child begins choking. Some tips to prevent choking:

  • This toy is a choking hazard.Do not allow your child to play with small objects such as nuts, coins and beads. These objects are easily swallowed and can cause a child to choke. You can test your child’s toys by putting them through a toilet paper roll tube. If something fits, it can easily fit in your child’s throat and he or she can choke or possibly swallow it. 
  • When preparing your child’s meals, make sure to cut up food into small, thin pieces. 
  • Keep plastic wrappers and bags away from your child. These things can cause a child to suffocate if he or she is able to put them over the nose and mouth.

Always keep the number of the local poison control center near a telephone in case of an emergency. The Cincinnati Drug and Poison Information Center is a great resource if you have a question about something your child swallowed. A trained professional will walk you through what to do if your child swallows something potentially harmful.

  • Cincinnati Drug and Poison Information Center: 513-636-5111
  • National hotline: 1-800-222-1222
  • Medication safety.Before giving your child any type of medicine, double check the dose to make sure it is the correct amount. 
  • Keep all medicine stored out of reach and in a locked cabinet or drawer to prevent any accidental ingestions. 
  • Never confuse your child by calling medicine “candy.” 
  • Keep products in their original containers. 
  • Always read the label before using any product.

Note: Grandparents’ and other family members’ medicine can also be harmful. Make sure all visitors keep medicine out of reach.


Last Updated 09/2012