Article

Nonfatal Choking on Food Among Children 14 Years or Younger in the United States, 2001-2009

Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.3). 07/2013; 132(2). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-0260
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to investigate the epidemiology of nonfatal choking on food among US children.METHODS:Using a nationally representative sample, nonfatal pediatric choking-related emergency department (ED) visits involving food for 2001 through 2009 were analyzed by using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program. Narratives abstracted from the medical record were reviewed to identify choking cases and the types of food involved.RESULTS:An estimated 111 914 (95% confidence interval: 83 975-139 854) children ages 0 to 14 years were treated in US hospital EDs from 2001 through 2009 for nonfatal food-related choking, yielding an average of 12 435 children annually and a rate of 20.4 (95% confidence interval: 15.4-25.3) visits per 100 000 population. The mean age of children treated for nonfatal food-related choking was 4.5 years. Children aged ≤1 year accounted for 37.8% of cases, and male children accounted for more than one-half (55.4%) of cases. Of all food types, hard candy was most frequently (15.5% [16 168 cases]) associated with choking, followed by other candy (12.8% [13 324]), meat (12.2% [12 671]), and bone (12.0% [12 496]). Most patients (87.3% [97 509]) were treated and released, but 10.0% (11 218) were hospitalized, and 2.6% (2911) left against medical advice.CONCLUSIONS:This is the first nationally representative study to focus solely on nonfatal pediatric food-related choking treated in US EDs over a multiyear period. Improved surveillance, food labeling and redesign, and public education are strategies that can help reduce pediatric choking on food.

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