Young children should be watched attentively. Leaving them alone for even a few minutes, allows opportunities for accidents. Child-specific training in CPR and other emergency responses can help prevent death.
Safe Environments: Be vigilant about potential dangers to children. Consideration must be given to their size, curiosity, and motor ability. Living, sleeping, and play areas should be routinely inspected for dangers which may not be threats to adults (e.g. chests/coolers, coins, plastic bags, balloon pieces), but can be deadly to children. Place cribs away from hazards such as appliance or mini-blind cords that could be pulled into the crib. Be sure there are no gaps between the sides of the crib and the mattress. Check bunk beds for entrapment hazards like the spacing between bed rails and the mattress.
Playground: Check play areas for hazards like protruding bolts that can catch clothing and strangle a child. Check playground equipment parts and hand rails for spaces that may be large enough to allow a child’s body to slip through and trap the head causing strangulation.
Infant Sleeping Arrangements: The safest sleeping arrangement for an infant is in an approved crib, on his or her back. Babies should not sleep in adult beds, on couches, or other furniture and should not be placed to sleep with parents or siblings. The crib mattress should be firm and fit tightly so the child cannot be trapped between the mattress and side of the crib. Soft items such as blankets, bumper pads, pillows, and stuffed animals provide opportunities for suffocation and should not be in the crib with the baby.
Inspect: Inspect toys on a regular basis to ensure there are no suffocation or strangulation risks. Discard toys that have loose or broken components. Infant Slings:
Infant slings have been recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission because of suffocation deaths and should not be used.
View the recall notices:
Food: Many choking incidents in younger children involve food. Young children have small airways which are easily blocked and they need to be monitored while they eat. Children should not eat while riding in a car or playing. Foods such as grapes, popcorn, nuts, raw carrots, and hot dogs should be cut in small pieces, similar to the size of a penny. Hard to swallow or chew foods should be avoided, e.g. hard candy, cough drops, gum and peanut butter.
Clothing: Young children should be dressed in clothing that does not offer suffocation hazards. Children should not wear scarves or clothes with drawstrings and clothes should be inspected for loose buttons, snaps or other articles that could be swallowed.