Last week we wrote a blog about kids food allergies.  This week TLC for Kids is sharing information on choking hazards for kids.

Choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death in children under the age of 5.  Children under the age of 5 are at greatest risk for choking injury and death.  Toys, household items and foods can all be a choking hazard.  The most common cause of nonfatal choking in young children is food.  At least one child dies from choking on food every five days in the U.S., and more than 10,000 children are taken to a hospital emergency room each year for food-choking injuries.  Toy manufacturers label toys for choking hazards and some food manufacturers voluntarily label food products as posing a potential choking risk; however, any food can present a choking risk.  Education regarding choking risks, precautions to take in avoiding these risks, and known lifesaving procedures are necessary to eliminate senseless and tragic injuries and deaths caused by choking. Pediatricians, family practice physicians, health care workers, parents, grandparents, day care workers, school personnel, older children, siblings, babysitters and communities as a whole play a key role in the prevention of injuries and need to share information with caregivers to identify potential choking hazards.  The size of a young child’s trachea (windpipe) is approximately the size of a drinking straw in diameter. Imagine a piece of popcorn being lodged in this small area!

The following are examples of unsafe foods for children under age 5.

  • Hot dogs or sausages (unless cut in quarters lengthwise before being sliced)
  • Hard candies (especially hard or sticky candy), cough drops, gum, lollipops, marshmallows, caramels, hard candies, and jelly beans
  • Chunks of peanut butter (Peanut butter may be spread thinly on bread or a cracker—but never give chunks of peanut butter to a toddler.)
  • Popcorn, chips, pretzel nuggets, and corn chips
  • Raw carrots, celery, green beans
  • Dried fruit (such as raisins)
  • Seeds (such as processed pumpkin or sunflower seeds)
  • All nuts, including peanuts
  • Whole grapes, cherries, cherry tomatoes (Cut them in quarters.)
  • Large chunks of any food such as meat, potatoes, or raw vegetables and fruits
  • Ice cubes and cheese cubes
  • Foods that clump, are sticky or slippery, or dry and hard textured

The following are examples of household items/toys that could present a choking hazard for children under age 5.

  • Latex balloons, coins, marbles, toys with small parts, small balls, pen or marker caps, button type batteries, medicine syringes, screws, stuffing from a bean bag chair, rings, earrings, crayons, erasers, staples, safety pins, small stones, tiny figures, and holiday decorations including tinsel, or ornaments and lights
  • Any toy or other object that is labeled as a potential choking hazard



Most babies can start eating table food around 6 months old.  However, there are certain foods that little one’s should NOT eat.  Please always ask the parents what foods the children can eat while you are babysitting.

Here is a list of foods that babies can not have and why:

  • Honey – can harbor spores of Clostridium botulinum, which causes botulism. An adult’s intestinal tract can prevent the growth of these spores, but in a baby the spores can grow and produce life-threatening toxins. Avoid honey until after the first year.
  • Peanuts and treenuts (including peanut butter and other nut butters). Please ask before feeding any young children peanuts or tree nuts.
    • After One (1) Year for the Non Food Sensitive/Non-Allergic Child
    • After Two (2) or Three (3) Years for the Food Sensitive/Allergic Child
  • Cow’s milk and soy milk – Stick with breast milk or formula until the child’s first birthday.  Why? Babies can’t digest the protein in cow’s milk and soy milk for the first year, they don’t have all the nutrients he needs, and they contain minerals in amounts that can damage his kidneys.  Milk also hinders proper absorption of iron; iron is crucial during the 1st year.  Yogurt and cheese are exceptions.
  • Citrus and acidic fruits – many infants under the age of 12 months old suffer rashes and tummy upsets due to the acidity. This has nothing to do with allergies.
  • Egg whites –  contain four proteins — ovomucoid, ovalbumin, ovotransferrin and lysozyme — that can potentially range from mildly to highly allergenic.
  • Strawberries Raspberries, Blackberries the current recommendation for introducing strawberries is after a baby has reached 12 months of age.  Commercial Stage 2 baby foods contain strawberries because it is said that processing strawberries at such a high temperature “kills” the protein that causes the allergic response.
  • Shell Fish – may be a high allergen. Introduction depends on a baby’s history of food allergies as well as the family’s history of food allergies.
  • Wheat – for the infant who has had no issues with gluten in Oats and/or Barley, and who has no history of wheat allergy or gluten intolerance, that offering wheat products (such as wheat toast) is fine around  8+ months
  • Chocolate – steer clear of giving a baby chocolate — even if it’s just a little taste. Because of its high caffeine content (not to mention sugar), it’s best to avoid giving any chocolate to babies under one year of age
  • Corn – possible allergen and not very nutrient rich

Tennis’ 5th Grand Slam, the Sony Open, starts next week.   The Sony Open is a  popular event and draws a large attendance every year.

If you need childcare for this fun event call TLC for Kids Miami! Our screened sitters are available to work right away.

Bring the entire family to enjoy fun in the sun and tennis!!  TLC for Kids Miami is on-call for you to reserve wonderful babysitters for your kid-free time while you enjoy tennis on the Key or a romantic dinner.

Popular players like  Rafael Nadal, the current number one men’s player in the world, is playing along with other top players like Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Andy Murray.

Competing in the women’s field is Serena Williams, 17-time Grand Slam champion and last year’s Sony Open winner.  Also playing are Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, and Li Na.

If you are looking for babysitters that can come to your hotel or resort during these two weeks please contact  TLC for Kids.  TLC for Kids has been providing safe and convenient  in-home or on-site childcare to families for over 25 years.  Our experienced South Florida babysitters and nannies are professionally screened and vetted.  They are chosen based upon their years experience and commitment to providing the highest quality childcare.

TLC for Kids sitters can be reserved for one day or multiple days based upon each family’s needs.

Reserve your South Florida babysitter today on line at!


Take a trip to South Florida this spring break!  If you need an escape from the cold weather bring the family down to Florida.  There is so much to experience this spring in Florida.


One of the best things about visiting Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach are the beautiful beaches!  You and your family can enjoy the warm temperatures on the beach during the day.  And in the evening, you can hire a TLC for Kids babysitter to enjoy the South Beach night life.



Miami has some fun attractions for families too.  Jungle Island is a popular place for families and features a unique petting zoo.  Stop by the Miami Zoo to see the famous Miami Flamingos.   Another great destination for the family is the Miami Children’s Museum.  This museum is like no other because it features  a two story sand castle!

Don’t forget that Spring Break in Miami isn’t just for kids.  Take the time to enjoy some couple time while on vacation.  TLC babysitters are screened and ready to work in  Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.  Reserve a TLC  sitter to come to the hotel while you enjoy a date night!



As a TLC temp nanny for six months, I found that I really enjoyed working with TLC as a babysitter and met a lot of great families and children.  Toward the end of the school year, one of my regular clients was seeking a full-time summer nanny and was interested in hiring me for the break.    Being with one family for the entire summer was so appealing to me.  I loved the idea of really getting to know a family and being a part of all the summer fun in St. Louis.  After just a few short weeks of being with the family I was placed with, I knew I made the right decision! 


I found that summer nannying is so much more than just just babysitting!  Each day brought new adventures and experiences for the kids and me.  We went to different camps, explored the St. Louis Zoo, many parks and swam in their neighborhood pool.  As a city transplant, I was also really happy to be able to finally discover the city.  The best part was that all of my explorations involved these awesome kids and they also ended up teaching me things.  When the summer came to an end it was so bittersweet, we all ended up going back to school – but I know I was able to teach the kids and they also taught me quite a few things.  I felt that at the end, I really was an integral part of my summer family’s life and them mine…that’s why I’m so excited to be returning to them this summer.  We’ve kept in touch throughout the year and we’re all excited about what this summer will hold!  

Thank you Brooke A. for the guest post!

To learn more about TLC’s Summer Nanny Program visit our website.