Let me start with a disclaimer: I am anti-child choking. Of course I don’t want anything to happen to kids. Still, I think we tend to go a bit too far in the overprotection department in this country. Did you know there’s never been a single solitary reported case of a razor blade in a Halloween apple? Yet every Halloween (you know, around 3:30 p.m. the day the kids are allowed their 20 minutes of Trick or Treating action) the media and watchdog groups behave as if every wrapped treat is full of napalm and barbed wire, just waiting to kill innocent kiddos. But I digress.
The latest outcry is to redesign hotdogs. You know, sausages made up of mostly scraps from the slaughterhouse floor. Oh, they want to improve the nutritional content of hotdogs, maybe remove the nitrates and other preservatives? No. They want to change the shape, because hot dogs are dangerous.
“Any food that has a cylindrical or round shape poses a risk,” said Dr. Gary Smith, immediate-past chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention. In addition to the redesign, the committee wants warning labels so those who are not so bright understand small children could choke while eating hotdogs.
A little internet research shows the actual odds an American child will choke to death on a hot dog are roughly 1 in 181,230. The odds are better that an American will die being struck by lightning and roughly the same that he will die from a pet dog or snake bite. I propose we begin legislation to defang all household pets immediately.
Still, maybe there is something to this killer hot dog business. Last September the KC Royals mascot Sluggerrr threw a hot dog into the stands at and hit a fan in the eye. He’s suing the team for $25,000.