Oops! This browser is no longer supported. Please switch to a supported browser to continue using Bub Hub.

Useful? Share it!

How do you know if it’s a choking hazard?

choking hazards and small childrenBeing natural explorers, children under three years of age are especially vulnerable to choking and ingestion hazards.

Young children have a strong instinct to explore non-food items by putting them in their mouths. They also have underdeveloped cough reflexes, which makes for a dangerous combination.

Toddlers can choke or they could end up swallowing something causing serious internal damage.

While there is no substitute for supervision, you can take steps to make your home safer.

Some choking and ingestion hazards will be easy to spot like:

  • coins
  • fridge magnets
  • stray hair ties
  • batteries
  • small toys belonging to older siblings.

Other hazards may be less obvious like:

  • broken toys
  • pebbles in pot plants
  • bread clips hiding in kitchen crevices
  • coffee table ornaments may be less obvious.

Before your baby gets mobile, conduct a safety sweep of your house to remove choking hazards.

If there is any doubt, the Consumer Commission’s do-it-yourself Choke Check tool, which you can print and make at home, can help determine which objects might be a choking hazard to toddlers.

The completed tool is cylinder-shaped and works by mimicking the size of a child’s throat up to the age of 36 months.

Once made, anything that can fit totally inside the top end of the cylinder is a potential choking hazard to a young child – and something to keep out of their reach.

When it comes to child safety around the home, prevention is always better than cure.


You can get the Choke Check and instructions at

Image credit: Riverlim/123RF Stock Photo

About Delia Rickard

Delia Rickard is Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Post your comment

Comment Guidelines : Play nice! We welcome opinions, discussion and compliments. Especially compliments. But remember: the person on the other side of the computer screen is someone's mum, brother, nan or highly intelligent but opinionated cat. We don't tolerate nastiness or bullying. We'll delete disrespectful comments and any replies to them. more

Thank you for contributing to our website.

Your comments must be relevant to the topic and must not be added with the purpose of causing harm or hurt.

We reserve the right to remove your comments if they:

  • Defame any person
  • Breach any person's confidentiality
  • Breach any person's intellectual property rights
  • Breach privacy laws
  • Breach anti-discrimination laws
  • Contains links, advertising or spam
  • Stalk, harrass or bully a person
  • Promote or encourage an illegal act
  • Contain course language or content

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you have a Gravatar, it will appear next to your comments. Read more about Gravatars here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

1 Comment so far -
  • phonakins says:

    They need to ban those amber teething necklaces! Beads like that are not suitable for little ones, plus of course it’s a complete scam

Back to Top