The quintessential american hot dog would not be the same if it was redesigned. I believe smaller size of the same shape would do much to decrease the risk of choking by children. I believe an adult should supervise a child that does not know how to eat properly yet and make the necessary changes to the shape of a hotdog to make it easier for the child to eat it. Also, companies could try to provide an alternative shape for children that would have difficulty eating a regular hotdog without changing the trademark shape of a regular hotdog.
Despite the very real choking risks of the traditional hot dog shape and the likely benefits that would come from “redesigning” it, I don’t think such a thing is going to come to pass. As bpadhiar touches on, there’s something culturally significant about the traditional American hot dog, and from an economic standpoint to “redesign” the hot dog would be to ask every hot dog stand, baseball park and movie theater to change over to some totally different system. Is it worth it to save lives? Arguably yes, but impersonal systems such as economies or even popular culture–where the ball park hot dog is a sacred ritual–are seldom affected by those types of factors, however compelling they may be in the abstract. Probably the best fix would be to increase parents’ (and kids’) awareness that hot dogs may pose a particular choking risk, and to increase the number of people out there who know the Heimlich Maneuver and how to do it. That may be a more feasible fix than trying to change generations of cultural behavior.
This is a great analysis. Thank you!
I don’t think so. A hot dog wouldn’t be a hot dog if it didn’t have its shape. Parents should just make sure their children take small bites and chew thorougly. The same problem would present itself with other foods, anyway.
You are not the only one to consider this!
As to the shape of the ‘dog, cutting it lengthwise, and then slicing those two lengths widthwise deacreases choking.
As to other dangers, hot dogs have been linked to leukemia because of the nitrites, so a person may not want to feed ‘dogs to their kids for that reason.
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