In a nutshell: Food can be a choking hazard for babies and young children, especially if they do not chew it well or try to swallow it whole. Choking can happen with any food, but it is more likely to happen with "firm foods" that contain bones or other hard substances, and foods that are small and round which can easily get stuck in the throat. Measures should be taken to reduce the choking risk of certain foods.

Reduce choking hazards of food

In general, some foods should not be provided to young children under five years of age, including konjac (hard) jellies, glutinous rice balls, fish balls, chewing gum, marshmallows, hard or sticky candies, ice cubes, whole nuts, and peanut butter and nut spreads to be consumed directly without spreading.

Measures that can be taken to reduce the choking risk of certain foods consumed by young children:

Safe eating habits

Caregivers should also know what to do if a child is choking. The Primary Healthcare Office of the Health Bureau has published an advice on basic handling of choking in children (available in Chinese only). For children suffering from swallowing difficulties due to certain medical conditions, special dietary arrangements should be made to reduce the risk of choking. Please seek medical advice from a speech therapist or other equivalent experts.