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Printed warnings on packages of snacks, popcorn, beans and other foods that can cause infants and toddlers under the age of five to choke will be required, according to a new public health regulation approved by the Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee on Monday. The swallowing mechanism in infants and toddlers is not well developed, and objects can easily enter the trachea instead of the esophagus.
Within six months of publication of the regulation, prominent warning signs must be posted near such foods when sold in stalls without packaging; packaged foods must have warnings within a year of publication.
The committee was headed by Gil MK Moshe Sharoni, who said he hoped the Health Ministry would launch an information campaign in tipat halav (family health) centers to explain the risks of exposing young children to small objects, including food, and learn how to prevent them.
Packages of hot dogs will have to be labeled clearly with a warning that children under five should not be served unless the hot dogs are cut lengthwise thinly; cutting them into circles raises the risk of choking because they can block the trachea Every year, there are several cases of young children choking on small objects at home or in day care facilities, with some of them resulting in death.