AAP says hot dogs are a choking hazard for kids; calls for warning labels, ‘redesign’

American Academy of Pediatrics

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), hot dogs - one of the most popular foods at amusement parks, parties, and ballgames – are a choking hazard for children; and should, as such, come with a warning label from the manufacturers!

Going by statistical evidence, choking is the cause behind over 100 child-deaths of below-14-year-olds in the US every year; out of which more than half are food-related - resulting from the so-called ‘dangerous’ foods like nuts, popcorn, raw vegetables, grapes, large chunks of meat or cheese, gum, marshmallows, hard candy, raisins and peanut butter.

Noting that food-related choking is a “relatively under-addressed problem for US children,” the AAP – in its policy statement, “Prevention of Choking Among Children” – has recommended that food manufacturers should “design new food and redesign existing food to minimize choking risk.”

While the hot-dog makers have largely rebuffed the idea of a ‘redesign’ of a hot dog, and called the warning labels’ drive “probably over-protective,” Rush University Medical Center’s pediatric ENT specialist David Walner has elaborated that re-packaging of hot dogs would mean pre-cutting the product into small pieces.

Meanwhile, standing up for the encased meat, the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council’s Janet Riley recently told WGN-AM radio that many hot dog packages already have labels; and suggested that elders should supervise children when they eat such packaged products.

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