How to safely give young children chocolate this Easter

Easter is the time for family, friends, and everyone’s favourite- chocolate! With the shops now stacked with tasty treats, it’s the perfect time to think carefully about what the Easter bunny will bring this year. 

Choking causes the most amount of deaths in 0-5 year olds in the UK with doctors warning that food is responsible for over 50% of all fatal choking accidents. Each day, choking presents a risk to your child. However, at periods of celebration such as Easter, that risk can be increased by readily available choking hazards. Mini Eggs and other small, hard chocolate eggs have caused the deaths of several children in the UK with Cadbury placing a warning stating their Easter staple is not suitable for children under the age of 4.  

This Easter special blog will cover:

Why are hard eggs a choking hazard for children?

Unfortunately, these tempting treats can be the same size as a child’s airway. Due to their hard shell, they are unlikely to melt and shrink in size if they do become stuck. This can make it very hard for your child to clear the blockage. 

Plus children are still learning how to chew, breathe, and swallow correctly. It can be tricky to learn how to do this all in the right order and also navigate talking and potentially moving around or crying at the same time. A sharp intake of breath can be enough to propel an object from your mouth into your airway and cause choking.

How Fred can help prevent accidents

Choking is a silent killer. Anything smaller than a 2-pence piece can choke a young child. It is crucial for a parent, friends, and family to check that before giving a child an item, it is not smaller than this.

Help the family understand safety in the home and identify dangers with The Fred Choke Tester. The Fred Choke Tester comes as part of our 17-piece Fred Home Safety Starter Kit and Fred Home Safety Check Tools. These tools are essential to not only help you understand the potential risks within the home but also can be used to teach your little ones or anyone supervising the dangers to look out for. The Fred Home Safety Check Tools contain one finger probe, one choke tester, and one pack of warning stickers.

  • Fred Home Safety Check Tools

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  • Fred Home Safety Check Tools

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If you have purchased small chocolate treats for your children, and you are concerned they maybe a choking hazard, we have a simple test you can do The Choke Tester replicates a child’s throat – if the item fits flush inside there is a potential risk. If it doesn’t fit, then a child is unlikely to choke on it.

How can I prevent choking accidents?

Easter is a time for fun but we must remember that some games and treats are not suitable for young children. Here are some tips to help prevent an accident in your home this Easter.

  1. Get your children involved in testing their Easter eggs and toys! If they fit inside the choke tester, you can explain to them the importance of keeping these out of babies’ reach.
  2. Talk to older siblings about the potential dangers of leaving small things (Mini Eggs, Lego) lying around. Empower them to take responsibility to ensure these are kept out of little one’s reach. They may enjoy the thrill of being able to have something that their little sibling is not allowed. As well as relish the opportunity to be ‘grown-up’.
  3. Check to see if Easter eggs have smaller packs of goodies inside. Make sure to cut all food into small enough pieces for little ones.
  4. Avoid competitions that involve food items being placed into the mouth.
  5. The Fred Choke Tester is the perfect size to take out shopping with you. Now you can easily test Easter gifts and treats before you place them in your basket.
  6. Please remember that even larger eggs should be cut down to a sensible size before offering them to a small child.