Choking is the blocking of the trachea (upper airway) through food, liquid or objects, which does not allow proper breathing. It can be quite serious and life-threatening if it completely blocks the airway for a longer period.
When your child chokes, air is immediately prevented from moving to and fro in the lungs. This makes the child unable to breathe well. However, a child breathing right despite being choked by something is absolutely safe to recovery soon as compared to a child who is unable to breathe.
WHAT ARE THE EMERGENCY SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR?
It is very necessary to monitor your child’s actions during or after being choked. Below are signs to help you decide on seeking the help of a medical doctor:
When your child…
- can’t breathe well
- keeps gasping and wheezing
- can’t speak, cries out of pain, or makes noise
- becomes blue or skin color suddenly changes
- holds throat or waves arms
- keeps panicking
- becomes weak and unconscious
What To Do
In those cases, immediately start abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich maneuver), the standard rescue procedure for choking, if you know how to apply that technique.
Apply Abdominal Thrusts – The Heimlich Maneuver
The abdominal thrusts is to give a sudden burst of air upward through the trachea. So that stuck objects will come out through the mouth. It is a technique that needs to be practiced with caution, though it seems easy at sight.
Things Not To Do
- Do not place your hand inside the mouth of your child. Attempting to do that can push the stuck substance down the trachea.
- Do not pat the back of the child.
- Do not do an abdominal thrust when you are not sure about the procedure.
Ways To Prevent Choking
- Keep fruits and foods that can choke away from kids. Some include; Hot dogs, Berries, Carrots, Nuts, Hard candy, Corn, Chunks of meat or cheese, popcorn,etc). Since most of them are similar in size and shape as a child’s trachea.
- Serve your child’s food in smaller bites.
- Try to steam or cook vegetables instead of feeding them raw. Teach your child not to talk or laugh when chewing food.
- Monitor Toys and household items your child plays with — Watch out for Balloons, Coins, Seeds, Plants, Beads, Small Lego parts, and Batteries.
- Check for objects your walking or crawling child can easily put in the mouth. Surprising enough, you will find some under furniture, behind curtains and so on.
Choking is inevitable in both young and old persons. It is important to always prepare yourself with some information. Such as; Taking short classes on CPR and First-Aid.