The American Academy of Pediatrics is pushing for a redesign of many foods that cause choking for children – including candies, peanuts and hot dogs.
The group released the following statement:
“We know what shape, sizes and consistencies pose the greatest risk for choking in children and whenever possible food manufacturers should design foods to avoid those characteristics, or redesign existing foods when possible, to change those characteristics to reduce the choking risk. Any food that has a cylindrical or round shape poses a risk.”
While there are numerous regulations when it comes to the design of toys, in order to prevent children from choking while playing with these objects, there are no similar regulations for food – should there be?
Dr. Lee Sanders, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine weighed in: “The most common cause of death for kids aged roughly 1 to 5 is choking but it’s also one of the most common reasons for visits to the emergency room and, for kids who don’t die of these injuries, sometimes there are long-lasting injuries or implications. It’s a significant public health issue.”
Currently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that they will “carefully review the analysis and recommendations.”
A spokeswoman for the FDA said: “The FDA is concerned about the deaths and serious injuries caused by choking. We will also continue to consult with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on assessing choking hazards associated with food and take action against food products that are ‘unfit for food’ on a case-by-case basis.”
The policy that the American Academy of Pediatrics wants to be put in place would call for labels on all foods that cause choking hazards, as well as food redesigns whenever possible.
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