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5 Foods That Kids Most Often Choke On

Peanut Butter
Watch out for big globs of peanut butter.
Watch out for big globs of peanut butter.

If you check your neighbor's kitchen, chances are good (about 3-to-1) that you'll find a jar of peanut butter. If your neighbor has a child, he or she will have downed an average of 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches before graduating high school, most of them without incident.

Most of them. Peanut butter has a track record of causing choking in children, especially when paired with the traditional spongy, sliced white bread. Mouthfuls can form globs that clog the throat. The same is true of other soft, sticky foods, such as cheese cubes and slices, fruit "leathers," and chewy candies like caramels, jelly beans and "gummies."

To reduce the risk, serve peanut butter thinly smeared between slices of bread, never by the spoonful, and cut the sandwich into 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch pieces. Slice and dice cheese in a similar fashion. Avoid sticky or chewy candy (and chewing gum) altogether until a child is at least 5 years old.

Next: When "buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack" is a bad idea.