Parents warned over 'terrifying' danger of common food for toddlers

An Aussie first-aid educator has warned parents of a mistake when cutting up a common food for toddlers and how to minimise the choking risk.

Tiny Hearts Education, based in Melbourne, posted a method of how to cut sausages properly, which are the "perfect shape to occlude the entire airway".

In the video, paramedic and Tiny Hearts CEO Nikki Jurcutz tried pushing a whole sausage down a plastic tube — meant to symbolise a child's airway — showing that it was too big to fit and could lead to choking.

Two stills of CEO from Tiny Hearts Foundation showing how to cut a sausage correctly so that it doesn't potentially choke a child.
Tiny Hearts Education has shown how to minimise the risk of choking for toddlers when eating sausages. Source: Instagram

So when slicing it, she recommended cutting the sausage lengthwise, rather than cross-wise (cutting along its widest area) to not "completely occlude" the airway.

Sausages one of the most hazardous foods

Yahoo News Australia reached out to Kidsafe Victoria, who said that "hot dogs and sausages are one of the main choking hazards," along with foods like nuts, grapes, raw carrots and other hard vegetables.

"Some of those have skin, which makes them especially hazardous," General Manager Jason Chambers said.

He said that children under five-years-old are most at risk of choking, especially those under three who "don't have their full set of teeth yet" and whose "airways are smaller".

Social media users react to video

The video by Tiny Hearts Education received positive feedback, with many parents only now finding out about this food preparation method.

"Never would have thought of this!!" one person commented on the Instagram post.

"Love this page, they are always posting useful information that I otherwise would've never thought about," another said.

"Just yesterday I had to deliver back thrusts over my knee to my choking 5 year old," a third person shared. "The look of fear in her eyes is an image I will never forget. Most terrifying few minutes of my life."

A mum notices her daughter choking on her breakfast and gives her back blows to dislodge the food.
A mum notices her daughter choking on her breakfast and gives her back blows to dislodge the food. Source: Tiny Hearts Education/Instagram

Some thought the education page shouldn't be suggesting parents feed their children frankfurts, however that conversation point was quickly shut down.

"Omg some of these comments," one person said. "I mean, it’s good to know but she’s not promoting this as healthy food. She’s showing ways to avoid choking to those that choose to feed this to their babies."

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