One of the most common and terrifying concerns that parents of babies have is that their child will choke on something. Babies are naturally curious and it is common for them to put almost everything that can fit into their mouths.
Many parents do not know what to do in this situation, and end up panicking and acting frantically instead of performing the proper procedure needed to unblock a child’s airway.
It is very important to familiarize yourself with the following steps to ensure the safety of any child within your vicinity that is choking on something, whether it be a friend’s child, a relative’s or your own child.
As a preventative measure, it is always important to child-proof your house, or any house that a small child is staying in. You should always make sure to keep track of small objects in your house and make sure that they are never in the reach of small children.
However, if a child does end up putting a small object in their mouth and choking on it, here is what you should do:
Step 1: Evaluate the situation
–If your child is coughing or weezing and is noticeably struggling to breath, then there may be a foreign object lodged in their throat that is preventing them from breathing properly
-If you can see the object you may try to remove it physically, however do not blindly prod the area with your fingers as you may push the object further down and make it harder for your child to breath
-If your child is coughing loudly do nothing but encourage them to cough the object out and keep an eye on them, as this means they are getting enough air to breath
-If your child is still conscious but is not making sound or their coughing is ineffective (if they are not inhaling enough air to produce a cough) then it is time for you to intervene
Step 2: Eliminating objects in the airway
-Lay the child face-down on your lap or support them while they are sitting down in a leaning-forward position.
-Give up to five sharp blows with the heel of one hand in the middle of the child’s back between their shoulder blades
-Only if this method does not work should you move on to abdominal thrusts
Abdominal Thrusts (for children younger than 1 year):
-Lay your baby face up along the length of your thighs
-Find the breastbone, and place two fingers in the middle
-Give five sharp chest thrusts (pushes), compressing the chest by about a third
If all of the previous methods have not succeeded in removing the blockage from your child, and they are still conscious, it is now time to perform CPR. Watch the below video to learn how to perform CPR on a baby.