Before Setsubun on the 3rd of next month, the Consumer Affairs Agency is calling attention not to let children under the age of 5 eat hard beans, as they may choke and suffocate.

According to the Consumer Affairs Agency, 141 cases of children under the age of 5 choking on food have been reported by medical institutions nationwide in the 10 years up to 2020. Of these, soybeans, peanuts, etc. Beans and nuts account for about 20% of the total.

In February 2020, there was an accident in which a 4-year-old child choked and died after choking on Setsubun beans.

According to the Consumer Affairs Agency, it is around the age of 6 that children can chew and swallow smoothly. It may swell and suffocate.

The Consumer Affairs Agency is calling attention to beans and nuts that are hard and need to be chewed before Setsubun, ``Do not feed children under the age of 5.''

In addition, we are calling for thorough cleanup after sowing beans so that people around them will not pick up and eat the beans without realizing it.

Doctor "Know the risks and have fun"

Kimiko Deguchi, a pediatrician who specializes in the prevention of children's accidents, said, "Choking can be life-threatening even for a short period of time. Dried beans such as roasted beans used in Setsubun tend to crumble easily, so if they enter the trachea, It absorbs the surrounding moisture and swells, blocking the trachea.

He added, ``Even if nursery schools take measures, accidents still happen at home. Especially if you have older brothers and sisters, there is a risk that you may feed them to your younger brothers and sisters under the age of 5 because you feel sorry for them. Knowing the risk of suffocation, I would like children under the age of 5 to enjoy traditional events that match the times, such as enjoying Setsubun with something other than beans."

Also, if suffocation is suspected, ``I want you to approach the child and check the situation, and if there are people around, call for help immediately. It is also important to practice such things as the hitting method on a daily basis."