- by Dr Varsha Saxena
- 0 Shares
- Jan 12 2018
What to do when your child is choking
When a child is choking, it means that an object is stuck in the trachea, keeping air from flowing normally into or out of the lungs, so the child cannot breathe properly. When parents are thinking about foods for their children, especially older infants and toddlers and pre-schoolers, they are really not thinking that much about choking hazards as they should think about.
Infants & Babies
If the child is under a year old:
- Turn child face down over your forearm or on your lap if you can’t manage the forearm position.
- Holds child’s jaw with one hand to support the head, which should be lower than the child’s chest.
- With free hand give five quick slaps between the shoulder blades.
- If your child still can’t breathe, try chest thrusts. While holding your baby, turn him or her face up, keeping their head lower than their chest. Place two fingers in the middle of his or her chest and give five thrusts. Repeat with back blows and chest thrusts until the object is visible and you can remove it.
If the child is older than 1 year old:
- Reassure the child and ask the child to cough the foreign body out.
- Stand behind the child with your arms around their waist.
- Ask the child to slightly lean forward.
- Make a fist with one hand, placing the thumb side against the child’s stomach above the navel, but below the rib cage.
- Grasp the fist with your other hand and quickly thrust inward and upward. It is recommended to do alternating abdominal thrusts with back slaps to try to dislodge the object. Give 5 back slaps alternating with 5 abdominal thrust.
- If the child becomes unresponsive, perform CPR.
Toddlers & Older Kids
If your child is still making sounds, tell him or her to cough, which may dislodge the object.
- All kids are at risk for choking, but those younger than 3 are especially vulnerable. Young children tend to put things in their mouths, have smaller air airways that are easily blocked, and do not have a lot of experience chewing so often swallow things whole.
- Avoid foods that pose choking risks (like hot dogs, grapes, raw carrots, nuts, raisins, gummy candy, spoonful of peanut butter, chunks of meat.
- At mealtime, be sure to serve a child’s food in small, manageable bites.
- Toys and household items also can be choking hazards, beware of deflated balloons, coins, beads, small toy parts, and batteries.
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