A choking child is probably one of the top fears for a parent. This is because you only have minutes to clear the blockage before permanent brain damage and even death can occur.
How do you clear the blockage if your child (under one year) is choking?
1. Lay the infant face down on your forearm, resting your arm on your thigh to hold your child steady and be sure her head and neck are lower than her torso.
2.Using the heel of your free hand, deliver five quick blows right between her shoulder blades.
3. If she doesn’t cough up the object, turn her onto her back.
4.Using two fingers, deliver five quick thrusts to the center of her chest. Stop if she starts to cough so she can cough up the object.
5. If she still can’t breathe, continue to alternate five back blows with five chest thrusts until the airway is unblocked. If this doesn’t work or your child loses consciousness, make the call to the emergency services.
How do you clear the blockage if your child (over one year) is chocking?
1. Stand or kneel behind your child and wrap your arms around her waist.
2.Clench your fist and place it under the ribcage (between the navel and ribs).
3. Grasp this hand with the other one and pull sharply in and upwards. Repeat this five times. Don’t apply pressure directly to the ribcage. Do five more back blows until the object is expelled.
Witnessing a child choking can be very distressing, causing many parents or caregivers to panic and in some instances completely freeze up if they don’t know what to do. That is why it is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with what actions to take should you be present during a choking incident.