Choking, suffocation and strangulation

Teething Ring

Airway and breathing-related injuries occur less frequently than other types of injuries, but are unfortunately often fatal. Infants can suffocate within a bed should their airway become obstructed by blankets and pillows. Small toddlers can choke on every day items they pick up and place in their mouths, or can be strangled by their own pacifiier cord. Older children are more at risk to be strangled or suffocate due to entanglement with something such as a window cord or their own clothing drawstrings. These types of injuries occur very quickly and often quietly.

For more facts on choking, suffocation and strangulation, see our factsheets below.


Current EU national level policy on choking, suffocation and strangulation

Further charts are available in the Child Safety Report Card 2012: Europe Summary for 31 Countries (PDF 9mb).

Drowning Graph Drowning Map

Good practices for prevention: proven effective prevention measures

This chart is taken from the Child Safety Good Practice Guide.

Drowning Chart 1

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