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Choking is one of the leading causes of injuries and death in kids, particularly those under 3. Toys, coins and food are the biggest hazard. Choking on food alone sends more than 10,000 children under 14 go to the emergency room each year.

The American Academy of Pediatrics thinks the government needs better regulations to curb this public health problem, according to a policy statement released today in the journal Pediatrics

To that end, the AAP is calling for a few foods to be redesigned so that they're less likely to get caught in a child's throat.

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Enter the choke-proof hot dog, USA today reports. But really, is that even possible?

Well, sure the APP states:

Hot dogs alone accounted for 17 percent of food-related choking deaths children younger than 10, according to a 41-state study, the report states. But don't stop there, the APP advises. Grapes, carrots, popcorn, marshmallows, chewing gum and sausage all have the same choke-prone characteristics as franks.

In summary, the APP recommends the Food and Drug Administration adopt the following steps to limit food-related child choking hazards: Use warning labels on foods that pose a choking hazards and create a surveillance and reporting system to alert the public of food-choking risks.

In addition, pediatricians, dentists and other health care providers should offer better choke-related counseling to parents. Meanwhile, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission needs better choke-hazard warnings on toys sold in vending machines, the APP advises.

Baltimore Sun photo

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