From Safe Ride 4 Kids
Unfortunately, driving and (kids) eating just don’t mix.
As a CPS technician, I can’t tell you how many times a parent apologized to me for their car being messy, sticky and crumb covered. I have always said there is a simple solution to that, don’t let your kids eat in the car.
It’s not just about the crumbs. I went on to explain further that it also would be safer because what happens if your child starts choking in the car while you are driving. It puts you in a very dangerous situation. If your child is choking how calmly do you think you can safely yet quickly pull over?
According to the New York Department of Health, choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death in children under the age of 5. Motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of accidental death in children ages one to 14. It may be smart to not combine the two possibilities.
I know this seems extremely inconvenient, especially with toddlers who can get extremely loud when they are unhappy or hungry or both, which also can pose a challenge to driving safely. Perhaps try liquids; sippy cups and food pouches are great for driving.
“I always recommend that my families have their children eat while sitting, and avoid giving toddlers food while in the car,” says Dr. Lisa Dana.
Often times parents wouldn’t even realize children are choking unless they are looking at them as kids typically can’t make any noise to alert you that they’re choking.
The most common culprits for children choking, according to the data, was hard candy (16 percent of the cases), followed by other types of candy (13 percent), meat (other than hot dogs, more on that below) (12 percent), bones (12 percent), and fruits and vegetables (10 percent). Interestingly, the researchers found that while seeds, nuts and shells only accounted for 7 percent of the nonfatal cases, and hot dogs only 3 percent, they were more likely than other foods to require hospital admission.
Keep all the child passengers safer by not allowing young children to eat in the car. And you’ll get the bonus of keeping your car cleaner longer.
By Amie Durocher, Creative Director at Safe Ride 4 Kids, of the Ride Safer Travel Vest and Tummy Shield, and CPS Tech since 2004