10 Non-food Choking Hazards for Infants and Toddlers

By ryan

The best CPR always involves never needing to perform CPR in the first place! Here are 10 choking hazards for infants and toddlers that you may find in your home. 

1. Small Batteries

Toys often come with small lithium batteries. Batteries are particularly dangerous because they not only pose a choking threat but can cause internal bleeding that will sometimes lead to death. Batteries are a significant safety hazard. 

2. Safety Pins

Safety pins are often misplaced and forgotten. They are small enough to lodge in the esophagus and if unhinged, can poke and cause bleeding. Put them away!

Safety Pin

3. Legos & Other Small Toys

Families with older children need to be particularly aware of small toys. Train your older child to always clean up his or her toys and keep a watchful eye out for stray Lego pieces.

4. Balloons

A favorite decoration at every birthday party, balloons pose an extreme choking threat. A deflated balloon is easy to swallow and will conform to the shape of the trachea, cutting off airflow and making it almost impossible to dislodge. Pop and throw away your old balloons immediately after the party.

Pink Balloons

5. Pen Caps

Pen caps are ubiquitous and very easy to lose. It’s a good idea to double check your couch cushions every once in a while. Also, consider moving that junk drawer into a cabinet that is more difficult to reach.

6. Jewelry

Jewelry is small, shiny and irresistible. If your toddler can pull herself upright, it’s time organize your nightstand! No more plopping your earring on the nightstand at the end of the evening. Put them in a drawer or in a hard-to-reach cabinet.

7. Marbles

Marbles look like candy and are perfectly shaped to slip into the esophagus. We recommend that you simply remove toys that involve marbles. The kids can find something else to do!


8. Small Rocks

Do you have gravel? Do your toddlers like to explore outside? If so, scour your landscape for small pebbles that could present a choking hazard.

9. Board Game Pieces

Are you a Settlers of Catan fanatic? Make sure to double-check your table and floors after your epic victory. Those colorful little pieces are perfect toddler bait and are easy to swallow.

10. Refrigerator Magnets

From a toddler’s perspective, refrigerator magnets are like tiny treasures begging to be taste-tested. Don’t overburden your magnets with Aunt May’s extra thick Christmas card. Secure them high above the stretching hands of little toddlers. 

As always, be vigilant and keep small items out of reach. If a choking incident does happen, then don't be powerless.

Take one of our online CPR classes for parents to learn what to do. You can complete it in less than 1 hour!