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Airway Obstruction - Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
The following statistics are the latest available from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign:
- In the most recent statistics, 85 percent of children who died from airway obstruction injuries were children ages 4 and under.
- On average, 17,000 children ages 14 and under are treated in hospital emergency rooms for choking due to toys and toy parts annually. The majority of these children (85 percent) are ages 4 and under.
- Most airway obstructions in children occur at home.
- Children most often choke on food items.
- Balloons are the most common cause of toy-related choking death among children of all ages.
- Strangulation by window blind or drapery cords most often occurs when the cord hangs near the floor or crib. The majority of children who strangle by window covering cords are ages 3 or under.
- More than half of drawstring strangulations (i.e., on the hood or neck of a jacket) occur when they become entangled on playground slides.
- The age group that is most at risk for all forms of airway obstruction is ages 4 and under.
- Children who sleep in adult beds are at increased risk for airway obstruction.
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