Warning Labels on Foods with Choking Hazards?

warning_labels_chokingWhat foods are a choking hazard and why aren’t they clearly labeled? That’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics is wondering. The group is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to require warning labels on foods that are known choking hazards, and to evaluate and monitor different foods for safety.

Children under four years old are the highest risk because their airways are small and because their eating abilities are still developing. First molars don’t arrive until 15 months, and second molars not until around 26 months.

“Although the A.A.P. does not give a specific age cutoff, I believe it is prudent to wait until at least 4 to 5 years of age before introducing high-risk foods, including popcorn.” said Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The food that has received the most attention as a choking hazard has been hot dogs, and two-thirds of hot dogs already bear warning labels. But why don’t all hot dogs have a warning label?

What do you think — are warning labels necessary for foods with choking hazards?

From the New York Times. Photo by Márcio Cabral de Moura.

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