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Food Safety

What are some food safety concerns?

How can I prevent my child from choking, and what do I do if they choke?

Please visit YourChild:  Choking Prevention for all you need to know about feeding your baby and child safely, and how to find first aid/CPR classes so you’ll know what to do if your child starts to choke.

How can I prevent food poisoning?

What do I need to know about hand washing?

Hand washing is an important habit for parents and kids.  Wash hands after using the toilet, after handling diapers, before handling food, before eating, and before feeding children.  You need to wash your hands with water and soap.  It doesn’t really matter what kind of soap you use.  Antibacterial soaps are popular, but according to research, no better at cleaning your hands than plain soap.  After washing, dry your hands on a clean towel.

If there's no visible dirt on your hands, alcohol-based (at least 60%), hand sanitizing gels may be a good alternative to hand washing. It turns out that they are great at cleaning your hands, and less drying than soap and water. Plus, you may have more luck getting your kids to sanitize their hands when they come home from school or after blowing their noses than getting them to wash with soap and water.

Use caution with small children.  Sanitizing gels contain mostly ethyl alcohol, and are toxic if swallowed.  Keep out of reach of children.  Avoid buying brands with fruit or other appealing scents that may tempt kids to taste them.

What are some other food safety tips?

What about pesticides in foods?

How can I find out more about related topics?

Written and compiled by Kyla Boyse, R.N. Reviewed by faculty and staff at the University of Michigan.

Updated October 2009

U-M Health System Related Sites:
U-M Pediatrics

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