Infants are very vulnerable to choking compared to adults. As a parent, you need to have skills on how to carry out first aid in order to help your child when he or she starts to choke. Research has showed that many parents in Canada do not know how to carry out choking first aid to their infants. This is despite that there are many organizations that offer such training for free. If you do not know how to carry of first aid in case your infant chokes, this article provides the guidelines on how to do it effectively.
Choking first aid for small objects
Your infant or child will always be attracted to small objects and put them into their mouths. Children are innocent and may do this without knowing the danger posed. Some of the small objects that cause choking to children include buttons, marbles, small toys and peanuts. Thus, it is advisable to get rid such objects from the reach of the children.
What you should do
- In case your child is choked, the first choking first aid step should be to make the child lay with the face down along your thigh and supported by the arm. Give the child five back blows between the shoulder blades using the heel of your hands. In the past, this used to be done along the arm, with the leg left to be more secure and to offer more support.
- Check the mouth to ensure that there is no obstruction. If you recognize that there is still some blockage you should turn the infant onto his or her back and give up to six chest thrusts. Use your two fingers to push inwards and upwards against the infant’s breastbone.
- If the obstruction fails to clear after the three cycles of chest thrusts and back blows, it is advisable to call for an ambulance and continue providing the first aid until the emergency help arrives.
What not to do
There are some few things you should avoid during choking first aid to avoid making the problem worse.
- Do not try to give the child anything to drink. This is mistake that many parents commit, but should never happen.
- Do not call for emergency help and stop the first aid. You should keep on providing first aid until the choking ends or the emergency help arrives.
- Never try to place the infant with the face looking upwards to avoid more chocking.