Choking, suffocating and children

There are steps you can take to help prevent your child from choking or suffocating.

Check there are no small objects or coins left lying around. 

Keep small batteries from things like cameras and toys away from toddlers - button batteries can cause very serious injuries if swallowed. 

Tie a knot in the middle of empty plastic bags so your child can't pull them over their head.

Replace dummies before they become worn.

Some old or antique cots and high chairs are not safe for young children - use a cot or port-a-cot that meets Australian Standards.

Keep cords or ribbons on toys, dummies and clothing short - less than 10cm - so they can't choke your child.

Cords on curtains and blinds need to be short or secured up high and out of reach.

Food

Don't give your baby or infant hard pieces of food such as nuts, apple or raw carrot. 

Give them cooked or grated vegetables. Sit toddlers down to eat and supervise them.

Don't force your child to eat anything they don't want.

Toys and play

Check toys and play equipment regularly for sharp edges, splinters and loose parts.

Make sure the surface under climbing frames and swings is soft and impact absorbing.

Toys for young children should not have small, loose parts that can be broken off and swallowed. Keep older children's toys with small pieces and small batteries away from toddlers.

Don't use baby walkers - they can cause serious injuries. They can cause delays in learning to walk if used frequently. 

More information

For more ideas, activities and tips go to the 7 Steps to Safety page on the Department of Children and Families website.

Last updated: 27 June 2017