Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nanny State #3,426: Hot Dogs

"...The leading group of pediatricians in the United States is pushing for a redesign of common foods such as hot dogs and candies, along with new warning labels placed on food packaging, to help curb sometimes fatal incidents of child choking.

"We know what shape, sizes and consistencies pose the greatest risk for choking in children and whenever possible food manufacturers should design foods to avoid those characteristics, or redesign existing foods when possible, to change those characteristics to reduce the choking risk," said Dr. Gary Smith, immediate-past chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention and lead author of the organization's new policy statement on preventing choking..." (source)

The more you think about this, the more inane it becomes...on so many levels.

First and foremost, why are you feeding hot dogs to small children? Have you read the ingredients? And once we're over the fact that you're giving animal scraps to your developing offspring...you don't own a knife? Only in America would a proposal to change an item that's been in existence in its present form since the 1400's be offered up before a simple recommendation to CUT the dog in half? Are there really parents out there that don't realize what a choking hazard a hot dog can be?

But then I read this which made me take pause on my position for a minute: "Choking on food causes the death of approximately 1 child every 5 days in the United States. Hot dogs accounted for 17% of food-related asphyxiations among children younger than 10 years of age. . . ." (source)

A sobering statistic indeed, but then I couldn't help think...shall we ban marbles, grapes, popcorn, nuts and bolts...all choking hazards? Ban fire, electricity and hot water...all potential dangers. It's amazing any of us made to past puberty...

Hot dog patty? Hot dog disc? Hot Dog ball?

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