When can toddlers eat popcorn

Do not let young children run around or play while eating

07.04.2010

If young children do not focus on eating, foods like grapes, popcorn, or nuts can enter the windpipe and cause suffocation. Round, oval or cylindrical shaped parts, such as pieces of sausage, are particularly dangerous ...

Small children in particular who run around, play or lie down while eating can easily choke on themselves. Food such as grapes, popcorn and nuts can get into the windpipe in young children under four years of age and cause suffocation. "Round, oval or cylindrical parts, such as pieces of sausage, can completely block the windpipe. In this way, a child can die of a lack of oxygen in minutes, ”warns Dr. Ulrich Fegeler, pediatrician and federal press spokesman for the professional association of paediatricians (BVKJ). Hard candy and raw carrots are also considered "risk foods". It is best for parents to cut wieners or carrots lengthways into several parts or quarter grapes.

A small diameter of the esophagus and trachea, the not yet fully developed biting and swallowing capacity as well as a low coughing force are causes of the increased risk of suffocation in small children. “Before the molars erupt, children can bite off food with their incisors, but they cannot chew it sufficiently. But even with their molars they still have to learn how to properly grind the food, ”explains Dr. Fegeler.

Since small children also like to explore something with their mouth, coins, marbles and similar objects should be kept out of their reach. Parents should also take a critical look at the toy parts of older siblings that are lying around. Uninflated balloons or shreds of them should also not get into the child's mouth, as they can "seal" the airways.