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I need some advice from all you people out there. I have a member of staff who has just said she is now reluctant to give apple to the two year olds in our group because of the choking hazard. I have searched the forum and have read lots of advice but nothing about apples.

 

It has always been our policy to chop grapes and slice apple thinly. I am sure that like me, choking is one thing you worry about alot, but I have always thought that as long as the children are correctly supervised and the food is correctly chopped we will be ok.

 

I want to support my staff member in her worries, but I do not want it to get out of hand. I also want the children to have the choice of as many different fruit and vegetables as possible.

 

Please tell me your thoughts on this

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

Glen

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Hi Glen, well as you we always give a wide range of fruit and vegetables. It is very worrying choking. In nursery the children have whole pieces of fruit rather than it cut up, therefore they tend not to put too much into their mouths. Hope this helps 0258 :o

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We use one of those lovely little devices that cuts apples into 8 equal pieces.Otherwise, I cut them into 8 myself.Touch wood, in over 34 years, I have never had a choking incident..(though that doesn't mean we never will !)......................but our children are always supervised by adults sitting with them, and we do talk about not putting too much into our mouths at any time.To be honest, I think there's as much chance of a child, or anyone, choking on a bite from the whole fruit as there is from smaller pieces.

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Well I thought I'd google 'apple choking hazard' to prove it doesn't exist, I found some advice and experiences.

 

have a look at this, includes preventative advice (for your risk assessment) HERE

 

Read about halfway down page, choking risk linked to development (or lack of) of back molar teeth.

 

Here's another scary story, maybe your member of staff has heard the same or similar ones Baby chokes to death on apple in Nursery but NOTICE THE AGE OF THE CHILD.

 

an American site but still about apple chunks as a choking hazard. HERE

 

Wish I hadn't looked now, Carrots is also deemed a similar hazard. :o .

 

I think take on board the information, discuss the risk, balance the risk compared to benefits, get staff training on how to deal with a child choking, consider risk reductions such as sitting whilst eating, learning to CHEW food properly, etc. Ensure an ethos of overall awareness of the risks. (appropriatte to age/ability of children). I would personally continue to provide such foods, recognising that there are risks in preschool and if known about and managed they should be minimised.

A new risk assessment entitled C.O.F.H.H. (instead of COSHH) Control of FOODS hazardous to health.

 

Failing that puree everything.

 

I'd be interested to know what you decide.

 

Peggy

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Thanks for that link Peggy, just had a quick read and it looks as though we do all that they suggest to minimise risks! One of the reasons we still have a sit down together type of snack/meal time is so the children can be effectively supervised whilst eating. It amazes me how many children when they start with us, think they can walk around while eating, and they are quite startled when we insist on them sitting down!

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we use one of the apple devices too and cut grapes in half children sit at tables with adults supervising - unfortunatly thier are risks all around them we just need to be wary of them at ball times xD

 

 

'ball' times Hali? your typo error gave me visions of hazardous balls flying around for the duration of the session, just to compound the other every day hazards we subject the children to. :o:( (maybe a large order of cotton wool to wrap all the children in may be needed :( )

 

Peggy

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'ball' times Hali? your typo error gave me visions of hazardous balls flying around for the duration of the session, just to compound the other every day hazards we subject the children to. :oxD (maybe a large order of cotton wool to wrap all the children in may be needed :( )

Reminds me of that advert for keeping children safe from allergens - they were dressed from head to toe in a suit made of bubble wrap. Who needs uniform at pre-school: a bubble wrap boiler suit should do the trick! Although I'm sure hali doesn't have any stray balls flying round the place: she's outstanding, you know.

 

Peggy you seem to have done a very thorough job, as always. I shall look at your links and make sure that we're doing all we can - thanks! :(

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Yes, thanks you Peggy for those links. It's always good to be aware of stuff like that.

 

Our children eat whole fruit and like Narnia we insist they sit down when eating. Lots of new little ones just started who love to roam around the room with biscuit bulging out of their mouths!!! :o

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We had a parent worried about this too a few years back (well my sister in law actually). She had triplets and it meant we took the decision to keep apples off the menu until she was less concerned. We sit with the children at snack partly as said to supervise. The parent was happy for them to eat carrots, breadsticks and other items which with the three in question I would have been more worried about! Eventually she realised that the precautions we take, ie sitting and supervising, cutting into small pieces, etc, meant it was safe, but I think the advice above about eating whole fruit is very interesting. Does anyone know anywhere of evidence that it makes them eat smaller bites? - I can see how it would in practice.

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We give our children apples in small pieces and like everyone else supervise. We do also have an apple lathe

See this youtube clip:

Its brill and the children love to do it. You have to have a very large supply of apples because they dont want to leave the table and eat loads, peel too!

The pieces are slim and very easy to eat. Very very low risk of choking.

I've seen them for sale in specialist kitchen shops but one of our mums got one of e-bay really cheaply.

Hey its technology too and K&U, labelling the parts, using equipment safely etc etc!

 

Found one on e-bay

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Apple-Peeler-Corer-S...id=p3286.c0.m14

Edited by Guest
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We give our children apples in small pieces and like everyone else supervise. We do also have an apple lathe

See this youtube clip:

Its brill and the children love to do it. You have to have a very large supply of apples because they dont want to leave the table and eat loads, peel too!

The pieces are slim and very easy to eat. Very very low risk of choking.

I've seen them for sale in specialist kitchen shops but one of our mums got one of e-bay really cheaply.

Hey its technology too and K&U, labelling the parts, using equipment safely etc etc!

 

Found one on e-bay

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Apple-Peeler-Corer-S...id=p3286.c0.m14

 

 

I found another cheaper one on ebay Buy it now price £8.99 (£2.99 pp) xD

 

Apple peeler 3in1

 

Thanks, I'm sure the children will love it at home, and I know I will love eating the peel, maybe the children will too now. :o

 

Peggy

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Thanks, I'm sure the children will love it at home, and I know I will love eating the peel, maybe the children will too now. :o

Did you ever use the apple peel to predict the name (or at least the initial letter) of your true love, Peggy?

 

I know what you mean about the apple peel - but then I'm a core eater! xD

 

Maz

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Peggy, that's a bargain! I paid about £30 for mine and the one you found has a suction cup, whereas mine clamps on to the table. Go for it!

 

EmmaJess, I'd say it needs supervision - there are sharp prongs that hold the apple on and there is a blade that peels and a nasty finger-shaped one at the front that takes the core out and cuts spirals. Could prove quite difficult for A & E to stitch fingers back together and I think the cleaners might object to the blood all over the classroom! :o

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Did you ever use the apple peel to predict the name (or at least the initial letter) of your true love, Peggy?

 

I know what you mean about the apple peel - but then I'm a core eater! xD

 

Maz

 

 

Didn't know about 'initials of true loves', even if I did the eating was of more interest to me back then. :(

Now didn't your mum tell you that apple trees would grow in your tummy if you eat the pips.? xD

 

Peggy

 

p.s. Hubby went on line today and said Why are you buying apple peelers, we had them in the army and threw them all away because they were too slowm quicker to do by hand? Whoops, that will teach him to give me the password for his ebay paypal account :( :wacko: (anyway I told him the kids would love it). As for the juicer I bought 3 months ago, only used twice.............didn't realise how many apples it took to fill a glass :( .....still all the peeled apples uneaten can go in the juicer now :rolleyes:

 

Is my life sad or what? (don't you dare answer that Maz :o )

 

Peggy

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Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their replies.

 

Peggy thank you for all the links.

 

I think i will show staff member some of the comments made here. As you say there are risks in everything we do with the children, and unless we use the bubble wrap suit that soemone suggested we just have to minamize the risks.

 

I love the apple lathe, have never seen one before but i think i will buy one.

 

Glen

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We didn't use apple peel to predict the letter for our true love. We used to twiddle the apple core twig (can't remember its name!!) one twist for 'a', 2 twists for 'b' etc

 

I'm glad you like the apple lathe. Its a great investment. Good luck with convincing your staff team.

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