It’s hard to keep your kid safe when it seems like they want to put every.single. thing. in their mouths. And it can be hard to know what’s safe—and what’s one step away from being swallowed and stuck in their throats. But this viral TikTok hack every parent should know can keep your child from unintentionally swallowing something—and maybe even save their life.
Dr. Nkeiruka Orajiaka, a pediatrician in Ohio, has a surefire way for knowing if a toy is too tiny for your child to play with. You don’t need a fancy gizmo or gadget—all you need is an empty toilet paper roll.
“Anything that passes through the tube means it can go into their mouth and they can swallow it,” Dr. Orajiaka explained to TODAY Parents.
Childhood choking is one of the biggest health hazards facing young children today. A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Prevention of Choking Among Children” found that choking is the leading cause of death among children ages 3 and younger. That means mini figs and other tiny toys that might be adorable just aren’t safe for your little one to play with. But it’s also important to note that not-so-obvious items (like coins, buttons, or even small pieces of food) can pose a choking hazard for small children.
And that’s why Dr. Orajiaka’s toilet roll test is so simple…and spectacular. It offers a visual for parents to understand what toys (and more to the point, their size) are safe for their child to play with, and which ones can wait a year or two more. It’s also a reminder for parents to know what to do in case their child starts to choke.
So if you’re unsure if a toy is appropriate for your child, you can just let it roll..with the toilet paper roll hack that can keep your child safe.