I’ve been babysitting a one-year-old and a three-year-old on a regular basis this year, so I’m constantly on the lookout for choking hazards. You’re probably familiar with the obvious ones like hot dogs, seeded grapes and marshmallows, but I was surprised when the children started coughing and choking on apple slices, french fries, and beans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can prevent choking by making sure your little ones sit up while eating and not giving them food while they’re in the car or stroller. Kids are still developing their swallowing skills up until they’re 24 months old, so keep this in mind when introducing solid foods.
There’s one more thing worth warning you about: the risks associated with letting small children play with your car keys. Besides being covered in chemicals and grime (which kids shouldn’t ingest), keys can be a choking hazard if a piece breaks off and is swallowed. And don’t forget about the small batteries in some remotes and electronic keys—they’re also swallowing hazards for little ones.