- Technical Assistance
Child Safety Topics
Definition: Asphyxiation includes suffocation, choking, and strangulation, all of which can result in death and permanent brain damage for children whose internal or external airways are blocked by foreign objects, such as food, coins, window blind cords, or even blankets.
According to SafeKidsUSA, in 2009:
The majority of incidents of childhood suffocation, strangulation, and choking occur in the home. Product design, regulation, and recalls can help prevent injuries and death due to asphyxiation in young children (e.g., the requirement that toys passing a small parts test for children less than 3 years of age and recalls of dangerous toys by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission).
Other strategies for preventing asphyxia include educating families, care givers, and child care providers on age-appropriate food items and sizes for safe ingestion as well as age-appropriate toys; supervising children while they are eating and playing; and scanning the home environment for possible hazards.