What all can be done if your child is choking?
When you have a child aged 1-5 years in your house, you have to be extra careful of a lot of things. A moment of negligence can lead to a lifetime of regret. One of the things which can happen to your child is –choking. Children have a tendency to put almost everything in their mouths; it is their way of assessing the world around them. And if a child put a marble, or pebble, or even a ring in the mouth, it can easily get stuck in their throat, and can lead to choking, creating breathing problems. Choking is in fact the fourth largest cause of deaths among children aged below 5 years. So, it is better to be safe than sorry, do the following if you your child is choking.
1 Take the coughing of your child as a warning sign
It may not be possible that you watch over your child 24*7, you may be there only and not know what your child has put into his mouth, but if you notice that he is coughing without any illness, then this may be a warning sign that he is choking. Take a look down the throat, if you see an object, don’t blindly try to take it out, you may push it down further. In fact try and make him cough a little loudly, a slippery thing may come through that.
2 Give back blows to children below the age of one
If coughing is not helpful, then you may have to try something substantial. But before that call out to someone for help, otherwise you may panic and things may go out of control. Support you child in a head-downwards position and do this on your lap. Gravity may also help in bring the object down. Give up to five back blows on the back of your child with the heel of your hand pushing between his shoulder blades.
3 Chest thrusts for children below one
If back blows don’t relieve your child, and he is still conscious, you can try giving chest thrusts by placing the child on your lap and supporting him with an arm. Find the breastbone of the child and place two fingers in the middle, then at this position compress the chest by about one third, this procedure will increase pressure on the chest and induce artificial coughing which will help in dislodging the object.
4 Back blows for a child above one year of age
Try bringing the child to your lap. It would be easier if the head is bending downwards. You can even ask the child to bend forward with his head and abdomen facing downwards, and then give back blows on his back, the way it was given to an infant.
5 Abdominal thrust for a child above the age of one
Stand behind your child placing an arm around his abdomen. Clenching your fist, place it between the navel and ribs. Grab his hand and pull inwards and upwards. Repeat this up to five times, making sure that you don’t apply pressure on the lower ribcage, this may cause some serious damage.
6 Assess the condition of your child
You have tried a lot, and if the object is still stuck, then rush your child to the nearby hospital or call 911, but don’t leave your child in this panicky situation. You may still need medical attention for him, even if the object has been removed, as some portion of it may be left in the throat, or the entire procedure may have hurt him physically. If the child becomes unconscious at any stage, immediately call 911, and start CPR till the time medical help reaches your doorstep.
All this may be too much to handle, but being aware of these procedures is much better than being a helpless parent at that time. After all, you have to take care of your child; he is your responsibility, your bundle of joy.