Health tips

Photo guide to childhood choking

Recently I saw this Xray of a toddler and decided to put together a quick choking prevention guide/refresher.

Can you tell what he swallowed? (Answer at the end!)

 Every year a handful of children die due to choking and thousands are hospitalised.

Babies and toddlers learn by putting things in their mouths.  We can’t really stop them, but we can reduce the risks.

Most choking incidents happen when children are being supervised and commonly when eating.


Cherry tomatoes into quarters.

Grapes into quarters.  One of the most common causes of choking incidents is grapes.

Blueberries, olives and all other soft rounded foods should ideally be cut.

Other foods that commonly cause choking are:

  • popcorn

  • marshmallows

  • nuts

  • sausages

Food is the more common cause but household objects and toys can also be responsible for choking incidents.

One good rule to apply is to keep any toy/object that can fit through a toilet roll tube out of the reach of those under age 3.

Examples of some common non-food perpetrators to watch out for include:

Nappy bags & burst balloons



Pen lids and batteries 

pen lids


Beads & necklaces 



Magnets on toy trains & board games with small parts

(ironically removed a Hungry Hippo marble from my boy’s mouth whilst writing this…)



And the answer to the x-ray image at the start?  Screws and hardware bits…



What to do if your baby is choking

Do contact me about our North London fundraising courses! We will be covering choking and basic life support, including a chance to practice on resuscitation dolls!

I am of the opinion that all parents should attend a basic first aid and life support course.  The British Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance are just some of the great courses available out there.

Please take the time to look at these excellent videos:

British Red Cross 

St John’s Ambulance

…and check out their sites for courses too!

Dr Claudia x

Please note: The materials in this web site are in no way intended to replace the professional medical care, advice, diagnosis or treatment of a doctor. The web site does not have answers to all problems. Answers to specific problems may not apply to everyone. If you notice medical symptoms or feel ill, you should consult your doctor. Dr Claudia x

3 thoughts on “Photo guide to childhood choking

  1. Fantastic advice! I did a course when my daughter was a newborn and she has choked quoted badly once. Luckily I managed to get it out. Even a purée can cause a baby to choke so you’re right about supervising them at all times.

    Liked by 1 person

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