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Is it a good idea for children to be eating in their child car seat?

¿Es recomendable que los niños coman cuando van en las sillitas de coche?

10/04/2019

It is best to prevent your child from eating anything during the trip which could compromise their safety, above all if they are traveling in the rear of the vehicle where you cannot get to them. Remember that children must travel on the rear seats apart from in certain exceptional circumstances.

We should prevent children from eating anything which they could choke on, such as crisps, popcorn, candy, hard candy, nuts and grapes. Basically they should not be given any hard, small items of food.

Any food that could block their airways can be a risk. For example, a hot dog is the same as certain high risk toys, due to its cylindrical shape, which is the exact same size as the airways. 

The Pediatrics journal has shown that the majority of choking cases occur in the first two years of a child's life. By the time they have reached 6 or 7 years old this risk is far lower. A review of the study carried out in 2013 reports that hard candy caused the most cases of choking (15.5%), followed by other candies (12.8%), meat (not hot dogs) (12.2%), and fishbones (12.0%). These four foods accounted for over half (52.5%) of the choking cases with known foods in the United States. Milk led to 6.7% of all choking cases, that it so say, it accounted for more than a third (36.3%) of episodes in children under 1 year old. This means we should be paying special attention to infants on journeys, making sure we do not feed them if they do not have adult supervision and are not feeling at their best. In the case of hot dogs, this represented 2.6% of cases. 

We should point out that at 4 years old, 55.2% of choking cases were down to hard candy and that patients from 0 to 4 years old were more likely to choke on fruits and vegetables than patients from 5 to 14 years old. Another review of the study reported that apples, bread, carrots and biscuits were related to the deaths of children under 3 years old. It is particularly striking that all the fatalities as a result of eating hot dogs happened to children under 4 years old.

It is important to be aware that the older the child gets, the less ikely it it that they will choke on their food. However, it is best to prevent children from eating in their car seat, whenever possible, and if they do eatin their child restraint system they should only do so under adult supervision, given that if they were to choke we will know about it and can act swiftly. 

WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE IS CHOKING

Our actions will depend on the child's age and if they are conscious or not. If it cannot be solved in this way, we need to begin techniques to clear their airways.

In these videos from the Spanish Heart Foundation we can see what techniques to use for breastfeeding babies and children over a year old.

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