How To Save Your Child From Choking

Health & Medical Blog

For most young children, impulse control and body awareness are not very highly-developed concepts. Toddlers may try to eat things that their body isn't meant to consume, or that their body isn't developed enough to digest. To help you be prepared for incidences of choking that your child may experience, it's helpful to understand how to prevent, treat, and recover from an incident of choking. 

Choking Prevention

To prevent your child from choking, it's helpful if you refrain from giving them foods that are hard to chew or come in tiny pieces that could cause a choking hazard (peanuts would be an example). It's also imperative to role model and encourage healthy eating habits. This means breaking food down into smaller pieces (for instance, taking bites out of chicken nuggets instead of putting the whole nugget in your mouth at once), eating slowly, and chewing food thoroughly. 

Once your child begins to mimic these eating habits, they are less likely to choke on their food. 

Keep small objects (miniature toys, screws, marbles, etc.) out of the reach of any children in your home. The will keep younger children from attempting to chew or swallow these objects, which can in turn prevent them from choking or suffering dental damage. 

Choking Treatment

The fastest way to help end your child's choking is to perform the Heimlich maneuver on them. This means standing behind them, placing your fist just above their bellybutton (with the thumb facing your child) and using both hands to help your planted fist make strong, swift backwards thrusts that move slightly upward, encouraging their body to dispel whatever has blocked their airway. 

As you are positioning yourself to perform the Heimlich, tell anyone else nearby to call an ambulance. If you are alone with your child, call an ambulance as soon as the object has been cleared from their airway.

Choking Recovery

Even though the airway has been cleared, there are aftereffects of choking, and consequences to performing the Heimlich, that may need to be monitored by a medical professional before the child resumes their normal activity. A medical professional will make sure that there is nothing else in the airway and that there are no major bruises or broken ribs that need to be treated. 

Though it can be a frightening sight to see your child struggling to breathe and possibly even turning blue, it may be up to you as a parent to save your own child's life. Remembering these steps and guidelines will help you keep your child safe from choking. To learn more, contact a company like A Karrasel Child Care Centers with any questions you have.


9 December 2014

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