Moms(-to-be), dads(-to-be), and grandparents(-to-be)…your worst nightmare is probably the idea of anything terrible happening to your precious babes! But, sometimes accidents happen and it’s best to be aware/educated on common child scenarios that COULD possibly happen than be unprepared.
Here is a quick check list on how to handle choking of your infant/child. *While this is just an informational check list for review, it is highly recommended you attend a full training class with a trained CPR/First Aid instructor who will provide further instruction, demonstration, and hands on practice.
1) Is your child actually choking? If they can speak or cough then NO they are not choking. Encourage them to continue coughing to clear the object out. Do not pat them on the back, as this may actually cause the object to become lodged in the airway, thus leading to actual choking.
2) If your child is an infant and can not speak, but is coughing, allow them to keep coughing. Do not stick your finger in their mouth as this could push the object down into the airway, thus leading to actual choking.
3) You observe your child/toddler/baby is in fact choking. They can NOT breathe and need your assistance. First and foremost, as hard as it may be, remain calm. If you are hysterical you will not be able to help in an effective manner.
- 2 year old & up: hold the child in front of you with their back up against the front of your body. Wrap your arms around them (2 fingers above their belly button) make a fist with 1 hand and wrap your other hand around the fist. Thrust in and up on the diaphragm (abdominal thrusts = Heimlich maneuver) and repeat until object comes out.
- 0-2 years old: abdominal thrusts will also be performed but look for the soft part of the belly to place your fist before beginning thrusts.
- Babies: lay the baby facedown on your forearm holding the chin (known as the “football hold.”) Perform 5 blows to the back then rotate baby to other forearm so he/she is now in the football hold on his/her back on your leg. Then perform 5 two finger chest compressions. Repeat this process until object comes out.
When in doubt call 911 in an emergency situation. If calling from a landline the dispatcher will be able to identify your location even if you are not able to tell them. Calling from a cell phone may provide them with your location using GPS, but it may not comeback with anything so it is important to be able to at least get your city to the dispatcher so they can get you the help you need.