Beterem: Keep small items out of children's reach

After baby chokes to death, National Council for Child Safety and Health says asphyxiation is second-most comment cause of death.

Yet another baby – this time a nine-month- old girl in a Beduin family in the Negev – died last week after swallowing a marble and choking on it. Every year, an average of nine children, six of them younger than their first birthday, die from asphyxiation due to a foreign object, and many others are rescued at the last minute.
Beterem, the National Council for Child Safety and Health, said on Thursday that accidental choking is the second most common cause of death in children. Babies and toddlers are especially susceptible to choking on such objects because they put everything in their mouths to become more familiar with it and don’t distinguish between food and other objects. In addition, their choke mechanism to prevent objects from going down the trachea is less developed than in older children and adults.
The most dangerous objects are small enough to fit into the clear plastic capsules that (used to) hold camera film, said Beterem. Coins, buttons, batteries, marbles, beads, toy parts (such as eyes on dolls) and other small objects – including small, hard pieces of food – should be kept out of young children’s reach. In addition, long antennas of radios and other electrical objects can be dangerous if poked into the eyes, ear or nose.
Any colored markers that are purchased should be examined to ensure that the plastic caps have holes to enable a child to breathe if they are swallowed.