Medical experts are issuing a warning to parents about kids and hot dogs because most people don’t realize the BBQ staple is the biggest choking hazard to small children.

During a presentation at the hospital, John Hopkins’ researchers said hot dogs can be killer for children under the age of 3. Pediatrician Nisha Kapadia, M.D., explained:

“Every food poses a choking risk in young kids but the hot dog has just the right size and consistency to perfectly block the airway, it’s the perfect plug that doesn’t allow any air to get through.”

Therefore Kapadia and other pediatricians are reminding parents about the proper way to cut a hot dog to avoid a tragedy.

Cutting into chunks isn’t good enough, Dr. Tanya Altmann, author of “Baby & Toddler Basics” told USA Today. She explained that because of the size, shape, and texture of hot dogs, they’re particularly dangerous for young children.

Cutting them lengthwise into strips first and then cut again into smaller pieces to remove their roundness is the best way to prevent a choking hazard.

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Altmann said:

“I’m one of those crazy moms that goes around the birthday party with the plastic knife that cuts all the hot dogs.”

Even if a young child is good at chewing, it’s always better for parents to be safe than sorry when consuming the high-risk food.

Kids love hot dogs, but they should never be offered a whole one until a child is older than the age of 3.

According to pediatricians, the same goes for hard candy, grapes, and nuts.

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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