Children and Choking: Preparedness Is Key

by Bettina Elias Siegel on December 18, 2013

Back in 2012 I wrote a post entitled “A Preventable Tragedy: Choking to Death in the School Cafeteria.”  I was inspired to cover this topic after reading about a Brooklyn nine-year-old who tragically choked to death while eating meatballs in his school cafeteria.  Media reports indicated that the lunchroom workers on duty at the time were completely unprepared for a choking emergency and that the child’s death could have been prevented with proper staff vigilance and training.

Sadly, in the two years since I wrote that post, Lunch Tray readers continue to share in the comments section their own stories of deaths in their family (or near-deaths) due to choking.  That’s why I wanted to share with you an article written yesterday by Jane Brody of the New York Times called “Keeping Little Breaths Flowing.”

Brody lays out the most common causes of choking in children and, more importantly, gives readers clear instructions on how to handle a choking incident in the crucial minutes before emergency personnel can get to the scene.  Please take a look at it, and please consider sharing it on social media, too.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

David December 20, 2013 at 1:39 am

Thanks for sharing. We had a very scary moment with our 9 month old just last week. I’m definitely sharing this via social media and through our newsletter for foodservice professionals.

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Bettina Elias Siegel December 20, 2013 at 8:11 am

David: Thank you for sharing this story with your large audience — whether they like it or not, food service professionals are often on the front line of choking incidents (as was the case with the Brooklyn 9-year-old), so it seems critical that they be prepared for such emergencies. And I’m glad your baby is OK!

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