Written by Lou Duncan, Mini First Aid North Kent
Many parents do not have the basic first aid knowledge to help save a child’s life. Lou Duncan, Co-owner of Mini First Aid North Kent is here to help. In this article, she talks about choking; one of the most common worries for any parent or carer. At a time when most of us are now on permanent lockdown with our children, it’s vital we know what to do.
From the moment we have to think about weaning, the worry starts! The worry doesn’t stop there – babies turn into toddlers, they continue to stuff food in their mouths in vast quantities (normally mockingly laughing at you as you protest they slow down!). Then we have dreaded older sibling toys; think lego, bouncy balls etc – let’s face it, the list is endless. Even stickers, especially the thick foil ones, so many do not realise that these can sit across the windpipe at just the right angle and block the airway totally.
So, what can you do?
Firstly, just simply know what to do should someone choke! Helping someone recover from a choking scenario is VERY successful if you are helping in the correct way. Ensure the information/training you are getting is up to date and correct. Google is great for many things, but not always for this kind of life saving information.
Secondly, we can show our babies and children that us grown-ups eat sitting down, we chew properly (!) and we never put too much in our mouths. Children are fabulous at copying, so showing a good example to them is key. Also, simply talk to them about safe eating. They understand what we are teaching them well before they can make any verbal response back.
Thirdly, we never leave a baby or child eating without supervision. Silence is the sign of choking.
**Helping a choking Baby (aged 0-12 months)**
- 5 back slaps between the shoulder blades.
- Up to 5 chest thrusts (jabbing motion). Check if anything comes out. If nothing has come out, call 999.
- Continuous cycles of 5 back slaps & 5 chest thrusts.
- See images below to assist with the above.
You must always refer any baby to hospital who has been choking and where abdominal manoeuvres have been used.
To book a Mini First Aid course or just to speak to us:
www.northkent.minifirstaid.co.uk or ring 07752881837
NB: Although no open classes are currently available due to the current COVID-19 situation, we have created an online baby and child course . Anyone that completes this will have the opportunity to attend a 1 hour bespoke catch up session where CPR and choking will be covered, demonstrated and have chance to practice yourself. Online (Skype etc) classes are also possible. All this is available on the above website.
Take care, keep safe & much love from Lou & Lara – Mini First Aid North Kent