Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Object Stuck in a Child's Airway
An object can become stuck in the airway at any age but is most
common in children younger than age 3. Although a child may not have any
symptoms when something is stuck in his or her airway, any of the following
symptoms may occur:
Since a small child may put anything in his or her mouth, it is
important to be aware of what is within reach. The windpipe is about the same
size as the diameter of your child's little finger. It is best to keep objects
less than 1.25 in. (3.2 cm) out
of a child's reach.
Pieces of food, such as hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, and candy, are
the most common objects that cause airway blockage, with round foods being most
frequent. Small parts of a toy, the eyes sewn on a doll, or buttons from
clothing can become stuck in the air passage. Latex balloons are particularly
hazardous, because even a tiny piece can completely block the airway.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD
Current as ofMay 27, 2016
Current as of:
May 27, 2016
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & David Messenger, MD
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.