More than 3,000 people in the US die every year from choking, with many of these choking deaths affecting children who are not being properly monitored as they eat. Additionally, choking deaths are also an issue for seniors who live in nursing homes and don’t receive proper care from staff as they consume food.
In fact, the problem of children choking on the food they eat is a very serious problem. One child dies as a result choking on food every five days in the United States, according to the US Department of Health. Since a majority of these child choking deaths occur at home, it is largely up to the parents to take measures to protect their kids against choking on food.
Dr. Christopher Magovern, a cardiac surgeon based out of Morristown, New Jersey, recently appeared on “Good Morning America” and spoke about the health risks posed by food that is improperly consumed by young children. Here are a few tips that Dr. Magovern provided for parents who are looking to prevent child choking deaths:
- Be on the lookout for any types of food that are too small or round. For instance, avoid giving your small child popcorn, nuts, or hard candy because these food items can easily get lodged in the child’s throat and cause a choking death.
- Dr. Magovern stated that a parent who cuts up a hot dog into a circular shape might as well give their child marbles to play with. So don’t cut up your child’s food items, such as hot dogs or grapes, into large Frisbee shapes. Instead, cut your child’s food lengthwise so that the food won’t get lodged in your kid’s throat.
- Steer clear of sticky items like marshmallows, peanut butter, and gooey chase. These types of food items can lead to choking deaths among young children.
- Pay attention to your child while they are eating. If you kid becomes silent, it may be a sign that they are choking on food.
- Children are at the greatest risk of choking to death while consuming food because they have smaller airways, their muscles aren’t as developed in the neck, and their lungs are smaller.
In Massachusetts, an 11-year-old girl died earlier this year when she reportedly choked on a marshmallow that she ate while attending a friend’s birthday party. The girl’s family recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking monetary damages for the victim’s loss of life. The parents who hosted the party were named in the wrongful death suit because, the victim’s family alleges, they failed to supervise the children in attendance.
For more information, read the ABCNews.com article, “Lawsuit Filed by Family of Girl Who Choked on Marshmallow.”
If you suffered an injury, or a loved one tragically passed away, as a result of someone else’s negligence, you need to speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Lombardi & Lombardi can help you explore your legal options. Contact us anytime to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Edison, Brick, or Freehold, New Jersey.