Preventing and Helping Choking in Young Children

preventing-choking-in-children

Children are curious little bundles of joy that love to explore their surroundings. Believe it or not, this is how they learn and become familiar with their surroundings. Becoming familiar with their surroundings is a gradual process that involves numerous hands-on experiences. This is why parents must supervise their young ones and ensure that nothing within their reach can cause a choking hazard. This is part of what is commonly known as baby-proofing the house. It’s to ensure that the baby or babies are kept within a safe environment where objects that could harm them are kept out of their reach. So, this brings us to the question of what is choking. To put it simply, choking is a phenomenon in which an object is wedged in the throat, obstructing the passage of oxygen. It has a serious effect on breathing and results in a lack of oxygen to the brain.

Choking can be a very terrifying experience, both for children as well as for parents. While more often than not, it doesn’t necessarily result in a casualty, it becomes even more challenging when the one choking is your little one. This is because they are probably at an age where they can barely even talk to explain what is going on and it is up to the parents or caregivers to interpret it based on their actions. Did you know that being in a state of panic forces you to tighten your throat more than you normally would do? This makes the experience even more scary and life-threatening. While this is a serious problem, choking can easily be avoided and resolved if you keep a calm composure and know what to do. Simply put, this article will take young and new parents on a journey through the dos and don’t of choking while focusing on what to avoid and how to safely help your child if he or she ever encounters such an experience.

Food That Poses a Choking Hazard For Kids

If you’ve been surfing the internet to learn about how to prevent choking in kids, you’ve come to the right place. Some food items that you must avoid to ensure the safety of your precious young ones include nuts, sunflower seeds, watermelons with seeds, popcorn, raw apples and pears, cherries, raw carrots, peas and celery. There are a few food items which need to be either peeled or cut into tiny pieces before being given to your little ones. This includes cheese cubes, grapes, bananas, caramels, etc.

Toys That Pose a Choking Hazard For Kids

Food isn’t the only thing that a parent needs to worry about when it comes to choking hazards. Most of the time, choking hazards result from objects or toys being picked up and put into the mouth. While there is no alternative to constantly monitoring your child, purchasing and giving your child safe toys to play with reduces the possibility of choking hazards. Some of the toys which should never be given to your little ones under any circumstances include marbles, balloons, coins, safety pins, paperclips, and small balls. Erasers, batteries, toys with small moveable parts, broken crayons, magnets, small and sharp jewelry items. These choking hazard toys should be avoided to ensure the safety of your small ones.

How To Prevent A Choking Incident?

  1. Supervise your child
  2. Unfortunately, there’s no alternative to this. This is by far the only way to ensure that your child is safe and can be saved from choking. As a parent and caregiver, one must be even more alert and cautious when our kids are eating or playing. This is because both these actions can result in choking incidents that could be disastrous.

  3. Purchasing age-appropriate toys
  4. Before purchasing a toy for your kid, see if it is age-appropriate and suitable. Always take into account the biological as well as the mental age of your little bundle of joy. Inspect the toy for small and moveable parts which could lead to a choking hazard. Only once the toy is found to be safe should it be given to your kids.

  5. Follow safe eating practices
  6. Ensure that your kids develop safe eating habits. Encourage your kids to sit up when they are eating and chewing their food. They should be instructed to take small bites and chew their food thoroughly before swallowing it.

  7. Reading food labels
  8. An often underestimated suggestion is the reading of food labels. As adults, we tend to overlook this when it comes to consuming food. However, that’s never a good idea. It becomes even more crucial to inspect food labels before purchasing food packets or items for our kids.

  9. Maintain a child-proof home
  10. The last suggestion is not the least effective one. However, it involves a ton of work. Child-proofing your home includes ensuring that no objects are around that can hurt or harm your child. This involves keeping batteries, paper, and credit cards in hard-to-reach spots so that your children remain safe and out of harm’s way.

How To Respond To A Choking Incident?

  1. Understand the signs
  2. The first step in dealing with a choking incident is to be able to identify the signs of choking. If your baby is choking there’s a good possibility that he or she will show signs of laboured breathing, coughing, inability to speak or open mouth completely. A much more serious sign is if your child turns blue due to a lack of oxygen. These are some of the most common or identifiable choking symptoms.

  3. Encourage your child to continue coughing
  4. Coughing is one of the most effective ways of releasing any blockage in the throat caused by food items or other objects. It puts strain on the throat and forces out the object that is obstructing the passage.

  5. Pat your child on the back
  6. Once you are sure that your child is unable to breathe as a result of choking, it’s time for you to stop being an onlooker and save that previous life. Place your child on your forearms and forcefully tap the back of your child to try and release the obstruction. It is safe to use the Heimlich maneuver for children above the age of one.

  7. Call for help
  8. It is important to inform anyone around you about the Choking incident so you can get the help you need. In the meantime, you will need to act fast and call for immediate medical assistance.

Here at EuroKids, child safety in the classroom and on the playground is our primary concern. While we focus on important aspects like curriculum development, student-centric approach, and building the body and mind, we ensure not to neglect nutrition and safety. Our group of highly skilled experts work night and day to ensure that your child grows, develops and becomes a respectable member of the community. Choking can take place at any time and any place, which is why we must be ready and prepared to face such incidents. If you want to learn what to do, what not to do, choking causes, choking symptoms and how to tackle them, be sure to check out our blog.