Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a plant cultivated for its grain-like seeds, and also used as a cover crop. Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass; instead, buckwheat is related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb. The cultivation of buckwheat grain declined sharply in the 20th century with the adoption of nitrogen fertilizer that increased the productivity of other staples. A related species, Fagopyrum tataricum (Tartary buckwheat) is also cultivated as a grain in the Himalayas.
Choking is a leading cause of injury among children, especially for children 4 years of age and younger. A new study by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined nonfatal food-related choking among children 14 years of age or younger from 2001through 2009. During the nine-year study period, more than 12,000 children were treated each year in U.S. emergency departments for injuries from choking on food, which equals 34 children each day.
According to the study, published in the July online issue of Pediatrics, hard candy caused the most choking episodes (15 percent), followed by other candy (13 percent), meat, other than hot dogs (12 percent), and bones (12 percent). These four food types alone accounted for more than half of all the choking episodes in the study. “Other…
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