It isn’t a pleasant experience to watch your baby choke on food. The combined feelings of panic, terror and confusion have often overwhelmed many parents in this terrible situation. A lot of parents have admitted that they would not know what to do in this type of situation.
An organization called St. John Ambulance is dedicated to informing people about first aid. According to a video they posted, 40% of parents have witnessed their baby choking at some point, however 80% had no idea what to do in this situation. This highlights the need for increased awareness and information on how to properly extricate choking hazards from babies.
How to Keep Your Baby from Choking
Dislodging a choking hazard from a baby is much different from doing the Heimlich maneuver because their bodies are still very fragile, and doing it wrongly could leave them with serious injuries.
Here is a step-by-step procedure of how to stop a baby from choking.
Assess the Situation
If your baby is choking but you can hear them coughing and wheezing, it means there is still air going to their lungs and that they are in no immediate danger, do not interfere. Any attempt to move the object blocking their airway at this point can cause it to become wedged deeper into their throat and only exacerbate the condition.
If it appears like your baby will not stop coughing, then you can begin the procedure. If you notice your baby ceasing to cough or make any noise then this may indicate that the airway has become fully blocked. In this case you should call 9-1-1 immediately and begin the procedure as you wait for the ambulance.
Perform Back Blows
Begin by using back blows. This can be performed by carefully placing your baby in a position where they are lying face down on your forearm. Use your thumb and fingers to hold their jaw in place and lower your forearm to your thigh, so that your baby’s head is closer to the ground than their chest.
Using the heel of your hand, deliver five firm back blows, (not too hard for baby) between your baby’s shoulder blades. Ensure you maintain the support of your baby’s jaw by using your thumb and fingers.
Perform Chest Thrusts
You can move to chest thrusts if the back blows did not work. Place your baby face up on your forearm while supporting the back of their head with your hand. Ensure that their head is still closer to the ground than their chest.
Place the tips of two or three of your fingers in the center of the baby’s chest. Perform a chest thrust with these fingers by pressing straight down on the chest so that it moves about one and a half inches. Then allow the chest to come back to its original position.
Perform five of these chest thrusts in a smooth approach. Alternate chest thrusts and back blows if this doesn’t work.
Call An Ambulance
Continue to alternate between chest thrusts and back blows as you wait for the ambulance.