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Medicine can be a choking hazard: TGA

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Parents and doctors have been warned to be alert to the potential for young children to choke on soft gel capsules.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration said that although it has not received reports of children choking on gel capsules, parents and carers should take care in giving medicine in this form to children.

Soft gel capsules typically have a gelatine-based shell containing medicine in liquid form. They are used for a variety of medicines, including vitamins.
Medicines that come in the form of soft gel capsules are not necessarily unsafe products, and the choking risk posed by these capsules is similar to that for many food items,” the TGA said, adding that as the age of the child increases, the choking risk reduces.

“However, parents and caregivers are advised to be mindful of the risk of choking when medicines in the form of soft gel capsules are given to children, especially those aged under five year,” the regulator said.

It recommended that doctors and other health professionals consider advising parents and caregivers of the potential risk, and the need to be careful in providing medicine to children.

Adrian Rollins