Monday, October 6, 2008

News-2-You and Choking

Dear News-2-You,

I love your product, but what were you thinking making a whole paper about popcorn? It is on every published list of choking hazard foods I have ever seen. For example from Consumer Reports, Seattle Public Health, Texas Center for Childhood Injury Prevention, University of Michigan and the list goes on and on. Perhaps when you are choosing your topics you could stay away from things that are commonly known to be contraindicated when working with learned with intensive or multiple disabilities (which I assume are a core part of your demographic).

Sincerely, a teacher who got dirty looks from every therapist in the the building for popping pop corn to use as a visual to go with this week's News-2-You because the therapists thought I might feed it to the kids and risk their lives (as it is a top ten choking hazard)

Top Choke Hazards (in children under 4 and those with swallowing issues and how lower the risk)
  • hard candy (do not allow)
  • whole grapes (cut grapes in quarters before serving)
  • popcorn (do not allow)
  • gum (do not allow)
  • whole hot dogs or slices of hot dogs (cut hot dogs in quarters the long way first)
  • large pieces of meat (especially tough meat, cut into small pieces or grind)
  • cheese cubes/squares (cut into very small pieces)
  • raisins (avoid unless cooked or very soft and plump and student has very good chewing skills)
  • raw vegetables (shred, chop or cook)
  • seeds and pits (remove from foods before serving)
  • nuts (do not allow)
  • spoonfuls or dollops of peanut butter (use appropriately in small amounts as a spread, serve with a drink - the same goes for all sticky spreads)

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