Hard candy the leading cause of choking in small U.S. children

July 29, 2013 at 9:52 PM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 29 (UPI) -- Hard candy followed by other candy are leading causes of choking in children, U.S. researchers say.

Meyli M. Chapina of the Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, said colleagues investigated non-fatal pediatric food choking-related emergency department visits from 2001-09 using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program.

The study, published online ahead of the August print edition of the journal Pediatrics, found an average of 12,400 children ages 0-14 were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for non-fatal food-related choking annually, or 34 children per day.

Hard candy caused most choking episodes at 15 percent, followed by 13 percent for other candy, 12 percent for meat other than hot dogs and 12 percent bones. However, other high-risk foods, including hot dogs, seeds and nuts were more likely to require hospitalizations.

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