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Newborn Safety Series: Choking and Strangulation

Choking and strangulation are both leading causes of accidental death in infants. There are so many different objects and situations that can pose a significant risk to your baby’s safety. Watching for these several different hazards can help protect your child from serious injury or death.

Choking and Strangulation

Choking Hazards


As a baby grows old enough to start eating solid foods it is important to protect from choking hazards. Food is the most common cause of infant choking, because of this I plan to write specifically of Feeding Safety in another post.


Batteries can be a choking hazard to small children. Specifically small lithium batteries. I saw examples about how these batteries can be in toys, remote controls, and alarms. I personally believe we only have small batteries like this for our old apple tv remote. Even now, the apple tv remote charges by being plugged in. It is still important to remember in case you have other devices around the home that use these batteries. Swallowing them can also, if not caught in the throat, can cause serious burn damage to the infants stomach and intestines due to electrical pulse.


The one thing I always remember being taken away as I was younger was coins. Coins, like many other objects could pass through the digestive tract but they also could get logged in the esophagus cutting off the airway.

Marbles & Stones

There are many toys you may love to have for older siblings but are still a choking hazard for any younger children. Marbles are an example. If your older children have them it’s important that they understand keeping them off the floor and out of reach to the younger children.

MagnetsChoking and Strangulation

One of the largest hazards that have kept me from many different toy ideas for my children are magnets. They are first and foremost a choking hazard but magnets can also cause serious injury while passing through the digestive tract. If a child swallows more than one magnet they can get attracted to one another while in different locations in the intestines. This can rip through the intestines. Small ball magnets should be kept away from small children and other toys with magnets should be limited. The magnets building blocks and tiles can be hazardous as well when the magnet can become loose and fall out of the toy.

Buttons & Beads

Number one gift idea for small children. Stuffed animals that DO NOT have button eyes. Buttons can easily become loose and swallowed.


Honestly, before researching for this post I did not know there was a choking hazard with pacifiers. Before the 70s it was possible that pacifiers would come apart. The nipple would be swallowed and become lodged in the throat. It is recommended, in an effort to catch pacifiers that may be warn, to replace them every 3-6 months.

Strangulation Hazards

Strangulation is when the neck is compressed causing a blockage in air flow. Many different things around the home can accidentally cause strangulation.

Getting Head Caught

Cribs, Bunk Beds, and Play Pens

Generally cribs are built with spokes that are close together in an effort to avoid injury to a small child getting their head caught. However, it has been possible. having their head caught can cause strangulation.

Recliner Chairs

Recliner chairs of all things are something you may not consider hazardous. When the chair leg rest is out it is possible for a small child to climb under and hit, fingers caught or even their head.

Curtain Pulls

The strings to curtains can cause a great risk. It’s important to move furniture like cribs, couches and chairs away from the blinds.


I highly recommend no matter the safety precautions you put forth in your home that every parent, babysitter, family member that watches your kids should be CPR/First Aid Certified. My husband and I go to CPR classes yearly. It’s one of those things, knowledge, you hope to God you’ll never have to use but you’ll be prepared if the situation ever arises.


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Newborn Safety Series

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