Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Choking Deaths in Children Far More Frequent Than We Know

It’s rare that a child has to be admitted to the hospital because of choking on a foreign object, but these episodes of choking result in death more often than we know.

That's from a new study into choking deaths in children. The study was conducted by pediatricians at the Children's National Medical Center at the George Washington Medical Center in Washington DC. Researchers found that one in every 30 children hospitalized for choking, dies.

There are more disturbing facts that emerge from the study. According to the researchers, the number of choking deaths nationwide, has dropped. A large part of this is due to the fact that the Consumer Product Safety Commission is cracking down harder on toys, foodstuffs and other children's products that can pose a choking hazard. However in spite of these measures, there are an unacceptably high number of children every year choking on toys, foods and other objects. California personal injury attorneys will find one fact particularly disturbing- approximately 1/4th of all choking deaths involve products that meet federal safety standards.

The researchers analyzed data from the Kids Inpatient Database 2003, which contains information about child hospital admissions. Data was received from 3,438 hospitals across the country. Overall, 3 million discharges were studied, and the researchers found that approximately 2,800 admissions were linked to a child choking on a foreign object.
  • 60% of the children were boys.
  • 40% of hospital admissions involved choking on food.
  • The average age of the child was 2.5 years in the case of choking on food.
  • In the case of choking on nonfood objects, the average age was 4.3 years.
  • Approximately 55% of the patients were below two years of age.
  • Children spent an average of six days in the hospital.
  • On an average, a child underwent two procedures.
  • Bronchoscopies, esophagoscopies and tracheotomies were the most often performed procedures.
When it comes to choking risks and children, prevention is better than cure. Keep toys with removable parts away from small children, chop foods up into small tiny parts that can be swallowed easily by the child, and be vigilant at all times.