Childhood Asphyxiation by Choking or Suffocation

Susan P. Baker, Russell S. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Medical examiner records were reviewed for 42 Maryland children younger than 10 years who died of asphyxiation from 1970 through 1978. Twelve children choked on food; six of these deaths involved hot dogs. Eight choked on nonfood objects. Size, shape, and consistency were important, with small, round, pliable products predominating. Twenty-two deaths resulted from suffocation, including four infants who died when plastic bags in their cribs or playpens pressed against their faces. Twelve of the 42 deaths resulted from problems that are now the subject of Consumer Product Safety Commission activity or regulations. Important problems not currently addressed include plastic bags, balloons, and foods that because of their shape or consistency are especially likely to cause asphyxiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1346
Number of pages4
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 19 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Childhood Asphyxiation by Choking or Suffocation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this