LASD Palmdale Station Child Safety Month: Choking & Strangulation Prevention

Palmdale, California - October 19, 2013

Anyone with small children knows how much they love to explore by putting things in their mouths. Unfortunately, choking and strangulation can occur. According to SafeKidsUSA in 2009, 1,099 children under the age of 15 died due to unintentional choking/strangulation. 94% of the deaths were children under 5 years old. Below is a list of safety tips which can help prevent choking and strangulation.

  • Never leave a small child unattended while eating. Always cut your toddlers food up into tiny pieces. It is more common for small children to choke because their swallowing mechanism has not fully developed and they have small airway passages. 
  • Parents and caretakers should not give a child under five small, round or hard foods (e.g. hot dogs, hard candy, cheese sticks, nuts, grapes, popcorn, raw vegetables, gum etc.) These foods are dangerous due to the fact they can easily become lodged in a child’s throat. 
  • Children should not eat while they are walking, playing or riding in a car. 
  • When purchasing a toy or game for your little one read the instructions and warning labels to make sure it is age appropriate. 
  • Keep all magnets, balloons, buttons, and coins out of your child’s reach. 
  • Remove hanging cords from window blinds and treatments, especially when near a crib. Make sure all windows have proper screens that will prevent children from window falls. 
  • Avoid putting anything around your child’s neck (e.g. Scarves, strings, drawstrings, ties, etc.) 
  • Older children love to play with ropes. They love to swing from trees, tie each other up, jump rope, play tug-a-war, etc. If you chose to let your child play with ropes, they should be supervised at all times. Teach your child not to put the rope anywhere near their neck.
  • Learn CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. It will give you great piece of mind. Local hospitals, fire departments and the American Red cross offer CPR training.

Working together as a community, we can educate ourselves on how to prevent choking and strangulation, reducing the risk of injury or death. If you would like additional information on educating yourself on how to prevent choking and strangulation, please visit . If you are interested in a CPR class please visit If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Palmdale Sheriff Station at 661-272-2400 or email Deputy Jodi Wolfe at

Deputy Jodi Wolfe

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