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Children's health

28th Mar 2024

Parents urged not to give their children marshmallows due to choking risk

Kat O'Connor

Marshmallows are a “big no-no” for children under the age of 5

A warning has been issued to parents about a popular sweet treat after a paramedic revealed how dangerous they actually are.

Marshmallows may seem like a safe bet because they’re soft, but they’re not actually safe for children under the age of 5.

This is because of the size of the sweet treat. It can cause blockages in your child’s windpipe if it isn’t chewed properly.

Nikki of Tiny Hearts, an educational Instagram, said it is almost impossible for children to digest because they’re so sticky.

She said it is almost impossible to remove it from your child’s airway, unlike a grape.

She explained on Instagram:

“Your average marshmallow’s size is very similar to that of a little one’s (aged 0-3) airway.

“If swallowed whole, the marshmallow could become easily lodged in the front resulting in a complete obstruction and a choking emergency,” she said.

“When mixed with saliva, the marshmallow’s consistency changes from soft and spongy to sticky – which can be challenging for children to swallow properly.”

“This texture also prevents back blows from being effective if a marshmallow was to become lodged in a child’s throat.”

Nikki suggested cutting the marshmallow into very small pieces. This will help prevent choking incidents.

“Modifying foods is a great way to make foods safer for your little one,” she shared.