Choking Prevention for People with Developmental Disabilities

Children and adults with developmental disabilities have a higher risk of choking compared to the general population.

Risk Factors Include:

Some medical conditions that increase a person’s risk of choking are:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Seizure disorders
  • Neurological and muscular disorders
  • Down Syndrome
  • Brain Injury
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Inability to swallow certain food textures and liquids
  • Medication side effects which decrease voluntary muscles
  • Dysphasia (difficulty swallowing)

Other contributing factors include:

Eat or drink too fast

Have poor posture when eating

Swallow non-edible objects (PICA)

The following foods put people at greater risk:

  • Hotdogs served whole
  • Hard candy
  • Popcorn
  • Sandwiches
  • Broccoli
  • Raw carrots
  • Nuts

Teaching Material on Choking

Arizona Department of Economic Security

Eunice Kennedy Shriver-Dysphasia, Aspiration and Choking

Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

New York State Choking Prevention Resources

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

State Agencies Choking Alerts

Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities

Minnesota Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities 

New Jersey Health and Safety Alert Choking

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CPR And AED Awareness Week- June 1-7

cprweekThis week is CPR/AED Awareness Week sponsored by the American Heart Association.
What is CPR?

CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. It is a technique used when a person’s heartbeat and breathing has stopped. CPR combines the use of chest compressions and rescue breathing. This procedure when done correct can save a person’s life by restoring blood flow to the heart and brain.

What if You Do Not Know CPR?

The American Red Cross suggest using “hands only CPR.” this involves no mouth -to-mouth techniques and giving the person chest compressions only.

Here are some links that demonstrate the use of CPR:

CPR in three easy steps

How to perform CPR: The crucial steps you should know

CPR Steps for adults

CPR Steps for Children (1-8 years old)

If you are like me and prefer a visual demonstration, please see the clip below:

Additional Resources

AED Fact Sheet

AED- Wikipedia

American Heart Association

CPR Facts and Statistics

Hands only Infograhic