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May 1, 1996

Reducing Choking Deaths in Children

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee

JAMA. 1996;275(17):1313-1314. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530410027025

To the Editor.  —The valuable report by Dr Rimell and colleagues1 suggests that warning labels may prevent inappropriate purchases of toys that present choking hazards, but toys bought for older children may be found easily by curious toddlers. Practical means must be found for parents to help children avoid these hazards.A number of products illustrate the gamut of problems inherent in having small toys in a household with both younger and older children. For instance, sets of colorful, small, hard plastic building toys are sold in nearly every city and are intended for use by older children. These building block sets contain both larger safe objects and tiny hazardous objects.2 Pieces may be found strewn over floors, embedded in carpets, or hidden in and under furniture, and therefore the pieces are available to crawling toddlers. These small objects present a daily cleanup and storage challenge for which