Pediatricians have declared that the trusty ol’ hot dog is in need of a makeover, setting the stage for one of the biggest engineering challenges known to man and causing some to worry, “Is it the end of the hot dog as we know it?”
The cylindrical sausage has been deemed a choking hazard by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which published an official statement on choking risks in the journal Pediatrics that included concerns about the snack clogging a child’s wind pipe. The pediatricians pointed out that 17 percent of all food-related asphyxiations among children are caused by hot dogs.
Talking about the proposal for a choke-proof hot dog, a doctor explains to USA Today:
“If you were to take the best engineers in the world and try to design the perfect plug for a child’s airway, it would be a hot dog,” says statement author Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “I’m a pediatric emergency doctor, and to try to get them out once they’re wedged in, it’s almost impossible.”