Most kids love hot dogs. In fact, it is one of the few foods that they usually eat without putting too many qualms. In addition, they are very easy to prepare, which explains why many parents often choose them, whether it be for snack, lunch or even for their children’s dinner. However, what most people do not know is that sausages can be very harmful to the health of children and in some cases can even put their lives at risk.
Choking And Suffocation Risk
Hot dogs are rich in saturated fat and salt, two substances that have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, they provide a large amount of calories, which increases the chances of developing obesity, a dangerous risk factor for other health problems such as diabetes, metabolic disorders and high blood pressure. However, these are not even the biggest risks of this food.
In fact, did you know that hot dogs are one of the foods that produces the most child deaths from choking each year? This is confirmed by the Spanish Association of Primary Care Pediatrics, which recommends avoiding the consumption of sausages in children under 3 years of age and reducing it in children up to 5 years of age. In addition, they advise that whenever sausages are offered to children it should be under the supervision of an adult who can act quickly in case of choking.
Experts explain that this risk is due to the shape and circular diameter of the sausages, which perfectly matches the size of the trachea of young children, especially if it is cut into slices. In these cases, if children do not chew the sausages well, they can create a kind of plug in the windpipe that blocks the passage of air, causing suffocation and, in the worst case, death.
Increases The Risk Of Developing Life-Threatening Diseases
A study conducted at the University of Southern California revealed that children who eat more than 12 hot dogs a month have a 9 times higher risk of developing childhood leukemia. The study also cited other research that found that children whose parents ate hot dogs frequently before conception or whose mothers ate a hot dog a week during pregnancy were more likely to develop brain tumors in childhood.
According to the specialists, this is because hot dog sausages contain a large amount of nitrites, a substance that is used to preserve food and keep it fresh. It has been shown that when these nitrites combine with the amine present in meat, N-nitroso compounds are formed, which are highly carcinogenic. In fact, several studies have linked its frequent intake with a higher risk of bladder, stomach, brain and esophagus cancer.
In line with these results, recently the World Health Organization has included sausages on the list of highly dangerous carcinogens, comparing it with other products as toxic as tobacco or asbestos. His recommendation is to completely eliminate them from the diet, especially in the case of children.
However, if your child is already a little sausage lover, it will be difficult to radically eliminate them from the menu. In this case, you can gradually reduce the frequency of consumption and the amount of sausages you eat per week, always betting on the whiter varieties that usually contain fewer ingredients that are harmful to health. You can also prepare other meat-based dishes, such as homemade hamburgers, which are just as tasty and much more nutritious and healthy.