The menacing, All-American hot dog is out to get our children, says the American Academy of Pediatrics, noting that hot dogs cause 17 percent of the fatal, food-related choking incidents suffered by toddlers. While the Academy is craving a safer, new hot dog design that's less likely to lodge in children's throats, The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council is counseling reason. Many hot dog packages, it says, already feature warning labels and, besides, there are simpler solutions. Whither the maligned hot dog? (Watch a CNN report about a proposed hot dog redesign)
Hot dogs are dangerous. Let's fix them: "As someone who is absolutely terrified of choking hazards, I vote yes on this," ays Erica Noonan in The Boston Globe. We can't change baby carrots, grapes, and many other dangerous foods, but we can make a hot dog that isn't the perfect plug for a child's throat. There's no good reason to resist.
"Should we demand choke-proof hotdogs?"
Good grief! Ever thought of cutting up your kid's food? "Parents don't need to wait for the federal hot dog re-engineering panel to convene" to make kids' food safer, says Nancy Shute in U.S. News & World Report. They can "re-engineer" the wieners themselves by cutting them into smaller pieces. While they're at it, they should cook their wee ones' meals until soft, and store "high-risk foods" out of reach.
"Kids and killer hot dogs? 3 tips to prevent choking on food"
The doctors' agenda is likely more subtle: You don't have to be a hot-dog industry lobbyist "to rebel" against this paternalist campaign, say the editors of the Los Angeles Times. The pediatricians likely realized that the idea of a "hot dog makeover" would provoke widespread ridicule — but just wanted to increase awareness of the dangers. If so, mission accomplished.
"The tail wagging the hot dog
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