Nutritionists have long warned of the perils of hot dogs: fat, sodium and preservatives to name a few.
Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics wants foods like hot dogs to come with a warning label — not because of their nutritional risks but because they pose a choking hazard to babies and children.
Better yet, the academy would like to see foods such as hot dogs “redesigned” so their size, shape and texture make them less likely to lodge in a youngster’s throat. More than 10,000 children under 14 go to the emergency room each year after choking on food, and up to 77 die, says the new policy statement, published online today in Pediatrics. About 17% of food-related asphyxiations are caused by hot dogs.
How about having a little faith in parents to actually be responsible for their children? I’m a mom, and it’s not exactly rocket science to figure out how to feed your kids. Mushed up food first. Then easy to chew finger foods like Cheerios or diced fruit. As they get more teeth and more control over their mouth and throat muscles, you can move into bigger and better things like hot dogs or carrot sticks. Parents should use their brains and rely on common sense a little bit more, instead of on government to take care of their every parenting question.