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A frequent cause of childhood injury and death is airway obstruction.  Children under the age of four (4) are at significantly higher risk for airway obstruction.  According to data compiled from 2005, there were over 19,000 emergency department visits due to airway obstruction, with kids under the age of four (4) comprising eighty-eight percent (88%) of those visits.  Young children are significantly more likely to die from such injuries than older children and adults.–injury-statistics-and-incidence-rates-90-P02970 

Knowledge of the most frequent causes of choking and airway closures should be part of any pediatric plan.  The most common causes of childhood choking include balloons (most common of all the causes), food pieces being too large and obstructing the airway, window blinds – the cords used for shades and drawstring clothing (such as a hoodie) that can become entangled in various ways, including on the edge of playground equipment or slides.  Every family should be aware of this information, to avoid the unnecessary risk of airway closure and/or choking. 

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