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They SHOULD Reinvent the Hot Dog!

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A lot of readers were outraged by the thought of the hot dog being reinvented so that it would be more "choke-free." But I say BRING IT ON!

hot dogs

Momlogic's Julie: When we told you that the American Academy of Pediatrics was encouraging the food industry to avoid shapes and sizes of foods that pose choking risks (like hot dogs) and to put warning labels on high-risk foods, many of you got steaming mad.

Seriously???? I swear to God our kids are going to grow up too stupid to live. The way society is coddling people ... from time immemorial children have been eating solid food. I feel for the lady whose kid died, but warning labels on hot dogs are just too over the top. ANYTHING can cause choking. ANYTHING. Unfortunately stuff happens. Regardless of all the supervision, warning labels or any precautions taken. Recall food that causes choking???? You CAN NOT be serious.
- Gail Cooke

This is absurd. There are 300 million people in this country. 100 kids a year [dying from choking on food] is next to nothing. It's so unfortunate when it does happen, but it's a risk I'm willing to take.
- Caroline

I know many of you will disagree, but I am all for warning labels on high-risk food.

My niece Alex choked on a hot dog in her school cafeteria and almost died. Thankfully, her life was saved, but she was so traumatized that she didn't eat solid foods for close to a year. She lived on soup and Ensure, and her single mother spent thousands of dollars she didn't have on therapy bills to conquer her fear of food.

But our family is keenly aware that our story has a happier ending than most. We told you about Joan Stavros Adler, whose 4-year-old choked to death on a piece of hot dog in 2001. Ever since her son died, she has been pushing for more warning labels on foods.

Maybe those of you who have never been personally affected by a child choking think this is over-the-top, but those of us who HAVE been affected by such a tragedy just want to spare the rest of you the pain we've experienced.

So when it comes to warning labels on food -- or maybe even re-designing them to make them safer -- I say bring it on.

But until that day comes, my kids aren't allowed to eat hot dogs unless they are cut in quarter-sized bites, period. To me, it's just NOT worth the risk.


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12 comments so far | Post a comment now
Matt February 23, 2010, 3:59 PM

A. if your child cant take normal bites and this poses a choking hazard, you probably shouldn’t let them eat a hot dog
B. Why would you want to change the hot dog, its an american past time.
C. Why do you people always over react to the smallest things?

adelaide dancing February 23, 2010, 4:39 PM

i think we should be educating kids on how to chew their food properly and to eat more slowly also!

Gail Cooke February 23, 2010, 5:04 PM

Last month I almost choked on a small candy…and I’m not going to take a crusade out upon candy manufacturers. Maybe you should puree all of your kid’s food..but of course they’d probably drown in it. Best shove an IV in their veins until they are 18…aah but then that would be a gateway to drug use. Best not feed them at all.

Anonymous February 23, 2010, 5:45 PM

kids are WEENIES!!!!

Linda Ehle February 23, 2010, 6:14 PM

yes i agree they should put warning labels on certain foods.But change shapes no way they are getting way out of hand maybe there out to be a warning on water too?1 teaspoon and you can drown get real watch what you do,chew well,drink slow,dont drive and eat the list goes on and on teach your children the simple things like we had while growning up.

Ava February 23, 2010, 6:16 PM

I think we should reinvent parents who are too lazy to cut a hotdog up if they’re that concerned of choking hazards. This comment is coming from a mother who’s child did choke on a piece of food and needed help.

Jen February 23, 2010, 6:21 PM

Wow, If your that worried about your child choking on a hot dog, then either don’t give it to them or STOP being lazy and cut it into pieces! I agree with Gail, anything that is small can be a choking hazard for small children and sometimes even adults. Just a FYI, my daughter got one of those big princess buttons that are connected to the Disney dresses (it came off). It scared the bejeezus out of me!! I am just so glad that I had taken the time to take a CPR class which included the side swipe of dislodging the object. (don’t know what’s the proper name of that method is) But you don’t see me suing Disney!! But, I’ll tell you what I double check every thing on her play dresses now!! I think there’s other things that we can put our time and energy into then putting warning labels on food. How about putting that money that would be spent on worthless warning labels and educating parents on current CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver.

Shelby February 23, 2010, 7:33 PM

I really don’t understand. If it’s younger children, cut the freakin’ hot dog up. If it’s older children, they should be old enough to CHEW, right?!

Jonny February 23, 2010, 7:51 PM

I am so agitated after reading this. Every time some kid dies from anything at all people go crazy and look for something to blame. Should we put warning labels on pencils that children could stab themselves with pointy edges? Should we put warning labels on shoelaces that improper use may cause injury? We live in a cushioned society. People spill coffee on themselves and sue for millions of dollars, now we have warning labels on coffee. If you are too stupid to realize that the liquid inside the cup (which logic tells me was hot to the touch) is hot, then you probably shouldn’t even be driving a car as in that famous lawsuit.

I personally don’t think that any steps should be taken to change hot dogs or their packaging, not because I care about hot dogs, but because if you choke on food it is your own fault. Frivolous warning signs are silly. I am sorry to hear about your neice but do you really want to cost TAXPAYERS time and stress by holding up courts with this nonsense? Do you really want to see the factory workers and owners have to go through further red tape to get their disgusting meat by products sold? Give me a break. We all have lives to live and things to do. Warning labels are not going to prevent people from choking, end of story. I don’t care how big of a sticker you want to put on a pack of hot dogs but the statistics of people that choke will be the same. Nobody is going to stop in the middle of eating and think to themselves, “Wow, it says here that if a chunk of this gets lodged in my throat I will die. I’d better slow down.”
Again I ask you to think logically and get real. If you want to feed people a food that is choke free feed them pudding. If you want to stop people from choking maybe you could be more constructive and spend your article writing about the dangers of eating in a fashion that causes choking. My apologies if this seems harsh as I know your neice suffered greatly, but this sort of thing really leaves a bad taste in my mouth, much like hot dogs.

Single Mama Central February 23, 2010, 7:52 PM

Why redesign something like the hotdog? It’s not even because it’s “Americana” to me. It’s simply because…why redesign every aspect of life? Cut up the hotdog if you are concerned. I don’t have the attitude of “Never me, never my child” but I will be taking active steps to protect my child and myself. Cut grapes in half. Cut the hotdog into bite size pieces or length wise and then still eat it in a bun. Cut up raw carrots. Don’t give a 3 year old a raw carrot and expect them to chew it up properly. Things happen. It’s out of control. Help bring it into your control by being PRO-ACTIVE. Not lazy.

Casey February 23, 2010, 8:41 PM

A boy from my son’s baseball team almost died from choking on a hot dog. My belief is teach your kids to chew many times and not play when they are eating. Kids can choke on anything from hard candies to meat. If a parent has a fear, cut the darn hot dog.

Anonymous March 2, 2010, 5:55 PM

just remember: CHEW, CHEW, CHEW


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