Protecting Your Baby From Choking Hazards: All The Things You Should Know

You would be shocked to realize that a lot of children under the age of 5 die, or are seriously injured as a result of choking.

Luckily, you are reading the right article to help you learn how to protect your little bundles of joy.

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The dangers of choking uncovered

Choking refers to a situation when an individual is unable to breathe due to blocked airways. Sadly, most times when it is happening to children, most parents are completely unaware, until it is too late.

The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) has released new data that shows that every five days, a child dies from choking while at least 12,000 children end up in emergency rooms as a result of choking accidents.

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This is mostly associated with foods like grapes, hot dogs, popcorns and toys as well as coins.

It is so easy for a child to choke because their airways are considerably smaller.

As for babies, it takes time for them to master the art of chewing and swallowing, and this also leaves them vulnerable to choking so, what do you do?

READ ALSO: Home Safety: These 10 "Normal" Things May Be Extremely Dangerous For Your Toddlers

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What to do

It is understandable that you want to know how to help your child if he/she is choking, but it is imperative that first of all, you can identify the signs :

1. Difficulty in breathing

2. Bluish skin color

3. High-pitched sounds while inhaling

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4. Inability to make sound

5. Unconsciousness

Now, that you know the signs to watch out for, it is equally important that you know the first aid that is appropriate for different ages. If it is a baby or toddler then:

1. Lay him/her face down over your thighs while supporting the head then give quick blows using the heel of your hand in the middle of the back.

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2. If the above doesn’t help, turn the child over and place two fingers on the chest at the middle of the breastbone and give five thrusts.

Ensure that the head is lying lower than the chest first. Also ensure that your pushes are strong enough: the chest must be compressed by about a third.

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3. Once the object is visible, carefully pull out.

If it is a small child (1 year and older), then:

1. Stand behind the child. Make a fist with one hand, ensuring that your thumb is placed just above the child’s navel then grab the fist with the other hand and thrust upward repeatedly.

Alternate between this and the back blows as described above till the object is coughed out.

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For an unconscious child, here is what to do:

1. First, place him or her on a firm flat surface and call for help. Make sure the phone is on speaker so your hands are free.

2. Make sure you never leave the child at any point.

3. Open the child’s mouth. If the object is visible and you can grasp, try to remove it.

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4. Begin CPR. You should always have it at the back of your mind to perform CPR in a situation when a conscious child is involved.

How to prevent choking

They say that prevention is better than cure so, let’s see how to avoid this traumatizing experience.

1. Never introduce pureed solid foods to babies younger than four months. For older children, ensure the solid foods are cut up into small sizes in ways that reduce the ‘roundness.’

2. Pay attention when feeding children and don’t rush them. Supervise children that can feed themselves.

3. Keep small objects that can easily be swallowed away.

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4. Don’t give hard foods like nuts and candies to young children.

5. Read warning labels of toys before giving them to children.

6. Ensure children are seated and calm while eating.

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7. Teach older children about safety.

We can put a stop to this menace if only we would all pay attention.

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not treat yourself, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.