I have a fear of my child choking on things that I think borders on obsessive. I cut food into very small pieces, I am consumed with checking small parts on toys — I’m not sure if all parents feel this way or if I’m just over-the-top. Regardless, it’s important to know how to quickly react if your child begins to choke on something.
St. John’s Ambulance Service UK made a short video to show parents what to do in the event their child starts choking. The 40 second “mini-movie” is titled ”The Chokeables” and features several British actors giving voice to animated objects that commonly cause choking in children, to show that how quickly you react to clear your child’s airways makes all the difference.
According to the New York State department of health, “at least one child dies from choking on food every five days in the U.S., and more than 10,000 children are taken to a hospital emergency room each year for food-choking injuries.” One child dies every five days?
Every parent should take an infant and toddler CPR course to become familiar with these motions. You would probably be surprised at how hard they direct you to do the back blows. Helping a child who is choking involves moves that may not be instinctive – certainly back blows are not instinctive to most parents who feel infants and children are fragile. But these two relatively simple instructions in the video could save a child’s life.
- More than 90% of deaths from foreign object occur in children younger than 5 years old; 65% of them are infants!
- Coins were involved in 18% of all choking-related emergency department visits for children ages 1 to 4 years.
- Candy was associated with 19% of all choking-related emergency department visits by children ages 14 years or younger; 65% were related to hard candy; and 12.5% were related to other specified types of candy (chocolate candy, gummy bears, gum, etc.).
- Liquids are the most common cause of choking in infants, whereas balloons, small object and hard food are in children.
Yes, an infant can choke on liquid, I was a little taken aback when my doctor told me that. He also quickly instructed me on back blows and gave my infant one that made her cry. I was thankful for that, honestly. I had no idea the amount of force you were supposed to use.
Here’s a resource to find a CPR course. And share this video – you never know who it may help.