Get Up & Grow: Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for Early Childhood - Staff and Carer Book

Choking risks for toddlers and young children

Page last updated: 25 May 2011

Children have small airways, and when food in inhaled or ingested it can easily lead to a blockage of the airway. Children should sit down whenever they are eating, and must always be supervised.

Some food items pose a greater choking risk to young children, and extra care should be taken with these foods. These include:

  • hard food that can break into smaller lumps or pieces
  • raw carrots, celery and apple pieces, which should be grated, finaly sliced, cooked or mashed to prevent choking
  • nuts, seeds and popcorn
  • tough or chewy pieces of meat
  • sausages and hot dogs, which should be either skinless or have the skin removed, and be cut into small pieces.
Hard lollies and corn chips also present a choking risk, but these should not be offered in the setting as they are sometimes foods.