Hot Dogs. They seem to be a staple at just about any summer barbecue. In fact, 150 million hot dogs are consumed on the Fourth of July alone.
But did you know, they can be one of the most dangerous things to feed to children?
They are so dangerous, Doctors Are Actually Warning Parents About The Dangers Of Cutting Hot Dogs Wrong For Children and it is something worth knowing.
One of my biggest fears when it comes to my kids is having one of them choke. I’ve read too many horror stories regarding foods such as grapes getting lodged into a child’s airway and now, seems like I need to worry more about hot dogs too.
Dr. Tanya Altmann, Pediatrician and author of “Baby & Toddler Basics“, is using this time ahead of the 4th of July holiday to remind parents that hot dogs can be “serious choking hazards”.
Now, you might be wondering what makes hot dogs so dangerous and the answer is simple, the size, shape and texture of hot dogs make it easy for them to get stuck causing children to choke.
Hot dogs actually rank among the top of lists of foods to avoid giving young children. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that hot dogs should be kept away from children younger than 4 years old.
“Hot dogs are long and round and when (young children) bite off a piece of it, it really looks kind of like a thick quarter and that is the perfect size to get lodged into a child’s throat,” Altmann said.
If you do intend to give hot dogs to your small children, you need to ensure they are properly cut so your child doesn’t choke.
Cutting them into circles, is a big no-no. They should never be cut like this:
What is the proper way to cut hot dogs for children?
Hot dogs should be cut lengthwise into strips first and then cut again into smaller pieces.
The same goes for other common choking hazards such as grapes, cherries and cherry tomatoes.
For older kids that want to be like the grown-ups and eat a hot dog while holding it, Altmann says parents could still cut the hot dog in half long-ways before putting it in the bun to help reduce the choking risk.
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Now, if you want to really be on the safe side, you can get a Grape Cutter which you can use to cut pieces of hot dogs, grapes and even cherry tomatoes to the appropriate size for children.
The bottom line here is, when in doubt, skip the food or cut into tiny pieces for children.