We talk a lot about choking around foods but what about other objects? (Missed our gagging vs weaning blog? Go have a look HERE.)
As your babies and small children get older they begin to explore the world around them. Many of them will do that by putting what ever they find in their mouths.
This is completely normal behaviour but it can be dangerous depending on what they find on their travels.
Its time to put your thinking cap on!
Think like a child, get down to their level and look at what they can see!
• Check under furniture like your sofa.
• Look at electrical equipment that may have batteries in that they can reach like controllers, car keys, 3D glasses, headsets etc..
• Money - anything smaller than a 2 pence piece is a potential choking risk. Don’t leave coins where little hands can get them.
• Keep items like buttons, batteries, small toys (like lego) and balloons out of reach too.
Ask older children to keep their toys out of reach as much as possible. Even larger toys that have smaller parts need to be kept safe.
If they do manage to find an object and it becomes lodged in their airway follow the choking sequence for their age range.
What to do if your baby chokes - Under 1 year olds download your poster HERE.
• Check the mouth (do not put your fingers into the back of the airway).
• Support the baby across your lap or along your arm (support their face by placing your hand around their chin).
• Step 1: Give up to 5 back blows, using the heel of your hand in-between their shoulder blades.
• Step 2 : If ineffective turn them face up and support the head (either place on your lap or across your arm).
• With two fingers in the centre of their chest do up to 5 chest thrusts at a depth of one third of the chest.
• Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you clear the airway or they become unconscious. If they become unconscious call 999 and start CPR (we will cover that next week).
If you have administered a thrust you must have your baby checked over by a doctor so pop to your local hospital.
What to do if your child chokes - Over 1 year olds download poster HERE.
If your child is choking and they are unable to cough or their cough becomes ineffective start the following sequence:
Remember the rule of 5.
• Step 1: Give up to 5 back blows.
Small children: place across your knees, head down low.
Older children: kneel or stand to the side of your child.
• Support them by placing your arm across their chest.
Using the heel of your hand in-between their shoulder blades give up to 5 sharp back blows.
If ineffective then start abdominal thrusts.
• Step 2: Give up to 5 abdominal thrusts.
Stand or kneel behind your child.
Place your arms around their waist and place your fist between the belly button and the ribcage.
Cup your fist with your other hand.
Pull in and upwards up to 5 times.
• Step 3: If ineffective repeat steps 1 and 2.
Ask someone to call 999 - if you are alone, do not interrupt the treatment while the child is still conscious.
If the child goes unconscious start CPR and update 999.
Want to learn more? Why not join us for a First Aid For Parent session or First Aid For Weaning session?