Lufkin doctor says hot dogs are choking hazard for kids

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – The American Academy of Pediatrics says hot dogs are no good for children...and not just because they're high in fat and sodium.

Erin Siber is the mother of four children. She knows firsthand how dangerous some foods can be for small children.

"I have, you know, fed my children hot dogs. In fact, I have given my son a whole hot dog and seen him choke on one," said Siber.

Now, she slices hot dogs into small pieces for her children.

"... I know it's a lot more time consuming, but that way you're sure that they're small enough that even if they're not able to chew them up completely, at least they'll pass their esophagus without getting trapped," said Siber.

"It's got a greasy surface, it's round, it's tubular, and it's almost the perfect size of a kid's airway, it just slips right in," said George Fidone, MD/Pediatrician.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is now suggesting warning labels be placed on foods that pose a high choking risk and a recall of food products that pose a significant choking hazard. Also, they say food manufacturers should re-design existing food to minimize choking.

"Hot dog choking deaths are the most common food choking deaths," said Fidone.

Fidone says hot dogs aren't that nutritional in the first place, not to mention a possible choking hazard, so it's better to not make them a regular meal. Siber says the news isn't surprising to her.

"...I've known about this as a choking hazard. Anything that can pass through a toilet tube is a choking hazard," said Siber.

For now, baby Olivia will eat her yogurt bites that dissolve in her mouth, but her mom says she'll eventually be able to eat a hot dog, and when she does, it'll be cut up before it goes in her mouth.

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