In this study, we present the data concerning 10 children (six boys, four girls) with a diagnosis of foreign body aspiration (FBA) amongst 19,951 cases that underwent autopsy between the years 1996-2002. Eight of the children were under 2 years old. All the incidents took place at home. One of the parents was in the company of the child at the time of incident. At least one of the risk factors was positive. Interestingly, all of the aspirated material was related to food except one. Only four cases had subpleural petechiae, whereas five of the seven subjects undergoing histopathological evaluation had edema, hyperemia or intraalveolar fresh bleeding. The legal instructions, which regulate the standards of toy materials, came into force at the end of 2003. Even though the legal instructions regulating the size and consistency of toys are very important to prevent FBA, we believe that the education of the parents and carers in the prevention of food aspiration is of greater importance. (c) 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.