An editorial in the Richmond (Va.) Times Dispatch offers some perspective on the issue of redesigning hot dogs to reduce the likelihood of children choking: In 2006, only 61 choking deaths were food-related, and hot dogs accounted for only 13 of those. Any child death is tragic. Yet it's worth noting ¦ that children under age 10 eat almost 2 billion yes, 2 billion hot dogs a year.
This editorial represents a sort of backlash against strict regulation, asking how much is too much when intervening to protect children, says Dr. Whelan. Obviously it s terrible when there is a death from choking, but 13 out of 2 billion is not the health threat that this is made out to be.