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25th Nov 2015

This Is Why You’re More Likely To Choke On Your Christmas Dinner

Here’s why you need to be extra careful chewing that festive food

Whether you’re a fan of Christmas or not, there’s no denying that it’s possibly one of the best times of the year for getting your feed.

From starters and snacks to full roast dinners and a glass of wine, indulgence is all part of the festive fun.

But according to paramedics, Christmas can also be one of the worst times for choking hazards.

Unfortunately, between large chunks of food, and increased levels of alcohol, the risk of blocked airways is dramatically heightened.

Speaking to Vice, paramedic and senior director of science and content development at the American Red Cross Jonathan Epstein said:

“Anytime there’s a lot of food, and a lot of alcohol involved, we see an increase in choking. Around holiday dinners, there seems to be an uptick.”

christmas party

Epstein adds that in his experience, the biggest problem lies in “solid pieces of meat over anything else.”

As well as chewing through your food consistently, keep an eye out for larger chunks of fruit or vegetables – such as pineapples and melons found in starters, or vegetables like carrots or celery that are a little thicker and not as soft as vegetables like cabbage or mashed potato.

Finally, Epstein warns that one of the most common culprits of choking can be a large bite of peanut butter, and apparently spreading peanut butter on white bread increases the risk of choking.

To prevent choking on peanut butter, avoid eating a large spoonful plain because it can get lodged in your throat. Spread it thinly on toasted bread or a cracker so that you have to chew it before swallowing, which decreases the risk of it getting stuck on the way down.