Attack of the Deadly Hot Dogs

The American Academy of Pediatrics wants a warning label on hot dogs, not because they’re unhealthy, but because their shape, size, and texture poses a huge choking hazard to kids and babies. The doctors want to go even further if possible, redesigning the food and others like it to lower the risk, according to a new policy statement published on the Pediatrics Web site Monday. Every year more than 10,000 children under 14 go to the emergency room after choking on food, and 17 percent of the incidents are caused by hot dogs. Warnings have long been required on toys that could pose a choking hazard. "If you were to take the best engineers in the world and try to design the perfect plug for a child's airway, it would be a hot dog," the statement’s author says. The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council supports a call for more education, but says that choking-prevention tips are already on the back of labels. The FDA plans to review the statement.