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How to Help a Choking Infant or Toddler?

expert
Aditi Dash
11 days ago
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How to Help a Choking Infant or Toddler

 

Every day in a parent’s life is equivalent to combat, trying to eradicate anything malignant in their child’s environment. Even though parents always put their best foot forward in providing a conducive atmosphere for their children, there are certain issues that always slip out of one’s attention.

 

Choking in infants and younger children is a nightmare that gives jitters to every parent. But there is always a way to maneuver around this danger zone. This article will revolve around giving an insight into safeguarding your child against the consequences of choking, steps you can take to help a choking child, and how to prevent such incidents in the future. 

 

infant choking

 

WHAT TO DO TO HELP YOUR CHILD?

 

First of all, it is important to know that your child is choking and you will know this if the child is gagging, gasping for breath, and making high-pitched sounds. There are some immediate steps you could take to help your child by remaining calm-

 

  • THE HEIMLICH MANEUVER

 

This consists of a thrust to the abdomen which ought to be carried out with caution-

  1. Stand behind the child and wrap your hands around his/her waist. 
  2. Make a fist with your one hand, keeping the thumb side in, and place this just below the chest and above the navel. 

 

Heimlich maneuver

 

  1. Grab your fist with the upper hand and give a push upwards on the abdomen which will push the blockage out of the child’s mouth. 
  2. Carry on with this inward and outward motion till the object exits from the child’s mouth. 
  3. Make sure to take your child to a doctor to ensure proper clearing of the passage. 

 

  • TREATING INFANTS (LESS THAN A YEAR OLD)

 

  1. Hold the baby face down on your thigh, with their face lower than their bottom. 
  2. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades up to five times (move to the next step if this technique does not work).

 

treating choking in infants

  1. Make your baby face upwards, towards you, and place two fingers on the middle of its chest. Push sharply downwards up to 5 times. 
  2. Make sure to take your baby to the doctor for a proper check-up after averting any damage.

 

CONSIDER TAKING YOUR CHILD TO AN EMERGENCY ROOM (ER) IN CASE NONE OF THE TECHNIQUES ARE WORKING OR IF THE CHILD HAS INGESTED A BATTERY OR IS TURNING BLUE AND UNCONSCIOUS.

 

WHY DO KIDS CHOKE SO OFTEN?

 

In simple terms, choking means that an obstruction is caused in the trachea or airway of an individual due to hindrance caused by any object stuck there. This means that airflow is blocked into or out of the lungs and the individual struggles to breathe. 

 

why do kids choke

 

Check out: Harmful Effects Of Using A Pacifier

 

With infants and young children, it takes time for them to master the ability to chew and swallow, and at the same time, they are unable to cough up forcibly to clear out any obstructions. Adding to that, their curiosity to explore the environment usually pushes them to do so by putting things in their mouth, which is the most primitive thing to do. Naturally, this object could be a toy, stone, or even a solid piece of food that could be non-ingestible for the baby. 

 

As per a survey that was conducted between the period 2001-2016, children under the age of five accounted for 73% of nonfatal injuries and 75% choking fatalities i.e., 305,814 non-fatal injuries and 2,374 fatal deaths. There couldn’t be a greater emphasis on the need for awareness and knowledge on infant choking. 

 

HOW TO PREVENT ANY FUTURE INCIDENTS OF CHOKING? THINGS TO PAY ATTENTION TO

 

  • PROPERLY TIME THE INTRODUCTION OF SOLID FOODS

 

Before the baby develops suitable motor skills to chew and swallow properly, refrain from including any solid food in their diet. This transition should be considered around the 4 month period. Food size and shape should be important parameters. 

appropriate food as per age

 

  • SUPERVISE MEALTIME

 

Be sure to serve small bites. Make sure the child is seated properly while eating and having food in a calm and unhurried manner. Teach them to chew food slowly. Cook or steam vegetables rather than serving them raw. 

 

  • EVALUATE YOUR CHILD’S TOYS

 

Don’t allow them to play with latex balloons, small balls, marbles, or toys made for older children. Age guidelines should be checked when purchasing a toy. Evaluate the toys regularly to make sure that they are in proper condition and do not have broken parts. 

 

appropriate toys for children

 

  • AVOID ANY HIGH-RISK FOODS

 

Foods like hard candies, whole grapes, popcorns, seeds, nuts, cheese cubes, foods that clump or are sticky, peanut butter, marshmallow, or chewing gum, should be avoided in their diet. 

 

  • KEEP HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AWAY

 

This could include batteries, coins, pen caps, buttons, screws, rings, earrings, erasers, crayons, stuffing from bean bags, or stones in general.

 

Hazardous material for children

 

It’s important to understand that the windpipe of a child is as narrow as the width of a drinking straw. This magnifies the caution that is ought to be maintained by parents to avoid any unfortunate incidents of choking. This can be out of our hands in certain situations but what is required is for the parents to stay calm and make this process much tolerable for both the parent and the child. 

 

Also read: How to Prepare Your Older Children for a New Baby

 

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
TAGS
• infant
• Parenting
• toddlers
• Taking care of infants