How to respond to a choking child emergency.
This article advises on what to do if you are faced with a choking child emergency. In such a critical situation it is vital to follow certain protocols such as the ones written about in this article.
Choking in children can be a frightening situation, but it's essential to act quickly and calmly to help the child. Follow these steps to stop a child from choking.
Assess the Situation:
Stay calm and quickly assess the severity of the choking. If the child is coughing forcefully, encourage them to continue coughing, as it may help dislodge the object on its own. If the child is unable to cough, speak, or breathe, immediate action is needed.
Perform Back Blows (For Children Over 1 Year Old):
Stand or kneel behind the child and provide support by placing one arm across their chest and the other hand on their abdomen. Deliver five quick and forceful back blows between the shoulder blades using the heel of your hand.
Perform Abdominal Thrusts (Heimlich Maneuver):
If back blows don't dislodge the object, stand or kneel behind the child and wrap your arms around their waist. Make a fist with one hand and place it just above the child's navel but below the rib cage. Grasp your fist with your other hand and perform five quick inward and upward thrusts.
Continue Cycles of Back Blows and Abdominal Thrusts:
Alternate between five back blows and five abdominal thrusts until the object is expelled or the child becomes unresponsive.
Call for Emergency Help:
If the child is still choking and becomes unresponsive, immediately call emergency services (999) and begin CPR if you are trained to do so.
If the Object is Dislodged:
After the object is expelled and the child can breathe or talk, seek medical attention to ensure there are no residual issues or injuries.
Always prioritise your safety and the child's safety when attempting to dislodge an object. Be careful not to push the object further down the throat.
Do not attempt to perform abdominal thrusts on children under one year old. Instead, use back blows and chest thrusts by placing two fingers on the center of the chest just below the nipple line and giving five quick compressions.
If a child is coughing forcefully or can speak, encourage them to continue coughing and not intervene unless the child's condition worsens.
Remember, it's crucial to take measures to prevent choking in children, such as avoiding small objects, cutting food into small, manageable pieces, and
supervising mealtime and playtime activities to reduce the risk of choking incidents.