Spooky season is upon us, so our favorite holiday is finally here: Halloween!
Many children participate in the Trick or Treat tradition, going door to door and getting candies from their neighbors. Kids get to indulge in all their favorite snacks on the one night of the year. BabyCenter recently researched a significant number of commonly distributed Halloween candies that can present choking hazards for young kids.
Working with pediatric hospitalists, BabyCenter has categorized Halloween treats into two groups: those safe for children of all ages and those that present choking hazards for kids under four years old.
Just a few of the unsafe candies that parents should look out for include Reese’s Pieces, M&M’s, Twizzlers, Gummy Bears/Gummy Worms, Milk Duds, lollipops, candy corn, Jawbreakers, Jolly Ranchers, Sour Patch Kids, and Hot Tamales.
Some of the treats safe for all ages include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Twix, Snickers, Kit Kat bars, Butterfingers, Hershey Bars, Milky Way bars, and Animal Crackers.
BabyCenter says that Chocolate bars or commercially packaged cookies and cupcakes are safe because they allow the food to break down easily and melt in the mouth. And never let children eat unsealed baked goods they are given by strangers.
Other hazards found in candy bags include small toys that toddlers can get their hands on, bouncy balls they can ingest, marbles, temporary tattoos, or loose candy wrappers.
Some signs of choking parents should look out for include gagging when a child opens their mouth and pushes their tongue outward. Dr. Elizabeth Donner says that If a child is choking, they will struggle to breathe and not make any noise, and it is time to act.
If your child starts choking, start by calling 911. For kids younger than one-year-old, quickly give five back blows alternated with five chest thrusts, repeating until choking is resolved or the child goes unconscious.
For children 12 months or older, use the Heimlich maneuver. If the child should lose consciousness, CPR should be performed until help arrives.