Don’t talk with your mouth full
Why should you not talk when your mouth is full?
You should not talk with your mouth full! It can cause choking.
What is choking?
To understand what is choking, you first need to understand what happens to the food that you eat. When you chew the food, it passes through your throat to get into your body.
The food and air travels through the same tube for a short distance until the tube divides into two tubes – the oesophagus which carries food down into the stomach, and the trachea (windpipe) which carries air to the lungs. Sometimes food slips into the windpipe – which can block the windpipe. That’s why you choke.
How to avoid choking?
- Make sure to chew every mouthful of food until it is small and soft enough to swallow.
- Sit down, take small bites, and don’t talk or laugh with your mouth full!
- Do not put anything in your mouth that is not food or drink.
- Be extra careful while eating nuts, grapes, raw carrots, popcorn, and hard or gooey candy.
Look out for the little ones
Babies and toddlers love to put things in their mouths, so help keep them safe by:
- Cutting up and dividing their food into small pieces.
- Picking up anything off the floor that might be dangerous to swallow — like deflated balloons, pen caps, coins, beads, and batteries.
- Never share your food or candy with a baby unless an adult says it’s OK.
What do you do when someone is choking?
If you see someone coughing while eating and going breathless, wait and see if they can cough the food up. If the person can then breathe normally, usually nothing more needs to be done – but get a grownup to check that the person is okay.
If the person is not able to breathe normally get help as soon as possible.