Choking is mainly common among children, but adults are at risk of this dangerous accident too. According to the Office for National Statistics, choking kills an average of 340 people each year in the UK, and it is the third leading cause of death in American homes.
Choking occurs when a piece of food, an object, or a liquid lodges in the throat, blocking the airway. This results in breathing difficulties, inability to speak, coughing and loss of consciousness. In adults, choking is often due to the manner of eating and drinking certain foods.
Popcorn and nuts
Who doesn’t love grabbing a handful of fluffy, buttery popcorn or a scoop of delicious nuts and shovelling it down in seconds? This manner of eating - applies to grapes as well - encourages overloading the mouth, thereby sending the food closer to your windpipe, which is situated near your eating tube. And therein lies the danger!
Grapes and carrots
Some foods pose a choking danger because of their size. Because of their small diameters, they fit easily into the windpipe and can create a blockage in the airway. Foods that can easily get lodged in your throat include hot dogs, grapes, popcorn and carrots. These require careful attention to chewing.
Peanut butter and pretzels
Apart from size and overloading in the mouth, another common reason why choking occurs is due to the texture of the food. Chewy, dry or viscous foods don’t go down easily and may require small bites and extra fluids. The common foods that fall into this category include, peanut butter, overcooked chicken and thick pretzels.
Steaks and stacked sandwiches
When hungry, the temptation to take big bites of food is high, but the adage, don’t bite more than you can chew is highly applicable when you want to avoid choking. Foods that are often eaten in bigger bites include steaks and stacked sandwiches.