An Australian parent education group has shared a quick and easy test for parents to determine if a food poses a choking risk to their baby or toddler.
Tiny Hearts Education, run by former Australian paramedic and mother-of-two Nikki Jurcutz, said in a post on the group’s Facebook page the simple “squish test” is a quick way for parents to test if a food is safe for children her toddler is and Instagram pages.
“Parents can pinch the food between their index finger and thumb to mimic the pressure of toothless gum chewing on it,” Nikki’s post reads.
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Australian parent organization Tiny Hearts Education has shared a simple trick for parents to test if a food is safe for their toddler to reduce the risk of choking
A video showed that foods like avocado and soft cheese are easily “crushed,” while harder cheeses, apples and cucumbers are firmer and therefore pose a greater risk of choking
If the food crushes easily it’s probably safe to give to young children, but if it stays firm it should be modified by crushing or cutting into very small pieces, replacing or avoiding it to reduce the risk of choking.
The post was accompanied by a video showing how foods like boiled eggs, avocado and soft cheese are easily “mashed”, while harder cheeses, apple and cucumber are firmer and therefore pose a greater risk of choking.
“When you say that, anyone can choke on anything, so knowing what to do is so important,” Nikki added.
“Parents can pinch the food between their index finger and thumb to mimic the pressure of toothless gum chewing on it,” the post reads
The 13 most common choking hazards for young children
3. Doritos and corn chips
4. Grapes and cherry tomatoes
6. Sausages and hot dogs, unchopped or cut into coni-like shapes
7. Pieces of meat
8. Pieces of watermelon
9. Big blueberries
10. Chewing gum, lollipops and gumballs
11. Little teddies
12. Raw carrot and apple
If you eat any of these foods and a child asks about them: to change, substitute or turn.
To change B. by crushing, mixing, steaming, chopping or grating the food to make it safe for consumption.
If the food cannot be made into a safe and developmentally appropriate form, substitute it for something similar. Like swapping popcorn for cornmeal, swapping peanut for a thin layer of peanut butter on anything.
If the food cannot be modified and you cannot find a suitable substitute, turn them with something else and delay introducing the food until they are older and developmentally better at chewing and swallowing.
Source: Education for little hearts
The paramedic reminded parents to remember the “five to stay alive” technique to use if a child begins to choke.
“Five punches on the back followed by five punches in the chest until the obstruction is cleared, the ambulance arrives and takes over or Bub falls unconscious and needs resuscitation,” she said.
Ahead of Easter, Nikki also warned parents against giving their child small mini eggs.
She said parents should opt for larger hollow eggs rather than the solid mini eggs as they pose a choking hazard.
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Ahead of Easter, Nikki also warned parents against giving their child small mini eggs
In a video posted to Instagram, the Queensland mum said to stay away from small solid eggs as they pose a choking hazard and opt for hollow eggs that crumble easily
In a video posted to Instagram, the former advanced life support paramedic said mini-eggs, like grapes, pose the top two risk factors for choking because they’re both hard and round.
In the clip, Nikki browses the Easter egg section of her local supermarket and shows viewers which eggs are and aren’t suitable for toddlers.
“If you’re doing Easter shopping for your little one this year, you’re going to see so many of these little mini eggs and they’re delicious, but we’re not going to grab them,” the Queensland mum said.
In the clip, Nikki browses the Easter egg section of her local supermarket and shows viewers which eggs are and aren’t suitable for toddlers
Nikki (pictured) said kids should only have solid mini eggs when they have all the teeth and can chew ripe
“We’re going to grab these, or ones that look like them, because these tiny minis are hard and round and we know those are two massive risk factors for choking hazards.”
She recommended opting for the larger hollow eggs, which she said crumble easily and are much safer for you at Easter.
The clip has been viewed more than 368,000 times since it was posted a week ago and received dozens of replies from parents grateful for the advice.
“I stupidly didn’t even think about the fact that they are solid. Thank you,” said one mother.
“I don’t mind if someone gives the boys the little solid ones because that means I can eat them instead,” joked another.
‘Thanks for sharing this! My kids are eight and six and I’ve never bought them the little Easter eggs for Easter. You make me so tired! We’ll trade them for something else if they can get them elsewhere,” said a third.
Others in the comments asked what age it is safe for children to eat the solid mini eggs.
“For me, it would be when they hit at least three with full teeth and mature chews,” Nikki replied.
“I’m going to give them to my five year old this year, but not my almost three year old. It depends on what you’re comfortable with.’