Peanut and Tree Nut Choking Hazard

Smooth peanut butter in a serving dish

A recent study has shown an increase in the number of children choking on peanuts and tree nuts. The biggest increase has been in those children aged between 2 and 3 years of age.

Parents now understand the importance of introducing allergy causing foods before 12 months of age and keeping these foods in the babies’ diet at least 2 to 3 times per week to reduce the risk of developing allergies to these foods. However, this must be done safely.

Babies, toddlers, and young children under the age of 5 years are unable to chew hard foods safely. When these hard foods such as peanuts and tree nuts and raw carrot and apple get stuck in the breathing tubes and lungs, a bronchoscopy (medical procedure) is required to remove them.

Please remember to only give SMOOTH peanut butter/tree nut pastes or nut flours such as peanut flour or almond meal in other foods until at least 5 years of age. Whole or crushed peanuts or tree nuts, including crunchy peanut butter, should NOT be given as the risk of choking is real. It is also important to sit children down when they are eating. Do not give them food when they are running, playing, laughing, or crying.

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