Advice from Canpol's experienced mothers.

What to do when my child starts to choke?

Toddlers love to move, run, jump. They also like to put things in their mouth. Situations in which the child is active can lead to choking. Also bottle feeding in an incorrect position may cause the food to go down the wrong pipe, that is the larynx and oesophagus. It makes breathing difficult.

Toddlers love to move, run, jump. They also like putting things in their mouth. Situations in which the child is active can lead to choking. Also bottle feeding in an incorrect position may cause the food to "go down the wrong pipe", that is the larynx and oesophagus. It makes breathing difficult. When your child starts to choke, you should start giving him first aid immediately. Otherwise, the condition could lead to severe problems with breathing or oxygen deficiency in the brain. This is due to the fact that a child's larynx has a different shape - it doesn't have the shape of a cylinder, but of a cone that becomes narrower, and it causes more intense irritation and blocking of airways if an object, food or drink gets stuck.

Here's the treatment that will help the baby (under one year) to expel the obstruction.

1. Sit on a chair and lay the baby on your forearm with his face down (his head should be lower than the torso). Use the heel of your hand to give your baby five blows between the shoulder blades. Don't press the baby's tummy. The coughing baby can start to vomit. Hold him in this position in order to protect him from choking. When the baby coughs up the contents, lay him on his side. If he starts to fall asleep or drool, call an ambulance.
2. If the baby doesn't dislodge the object, lay him on your lap on his tummy. His head should be lower than his torso. Use your index and middle finger to give the baby a thrush right under his breastbone.
3. If you notice that the baby can't breathe and starts to get pale or lose consciousness, lay him on his side on the floor and restore the patency of his airways by gently tilting his head back (do it with your palm on his forehead) and lifting the chin. If you see the object in his mouth, try to remove it. Check the baby's breathing once every 10 seconds. If he's breathing, lay him on his side and wait for the ambulance.
4. If you weren't able to remove the obstruction, and your baby still isn't breathing, start giving artificial respiration. Take a breath, seal the baby's mouth and nose tightly with your lips, and blow breath into the baby's mouth. Repeat 5 times. If the child doesn't start to breathe, start doing chest compressions: 30 compressions with two fingers on the chest (lower part of the breastbone) and then give 2 breaths. After 3 sequences check if the baby has started to breathe. If not, call an ambulance quickly and continue doing chest compressions. Repeat the sequences until the ambulance arrives.

When your toddler is over one year old:

1. Sit on a chair and lay the baby on your forearm with his face down (his head should be lower than the torso). Use the heel of your hand to give your baby five blows between the shoulder blades. Don't press the baby's tummy. The coughing baby can start to vomit. Hold him in this position in order to protect him from choking. When the baby coughs up the contents, lay him on his side. If he starts to fall asleep or drool, call an ambulance.
2. If the baby doesn't dislodge the object, lay him on your lap on his tummy. His head should be lower than his torso. Use your index and middle finger to give the baby a thrush right under his breastbone.
3. If you notice that the baby can't breathe and starts to get pale or lose consciousness, lay him on his side on the floor and restore the patency of his airways by gently tilting his head back (do it with your palm on his forehead) and lifting the chin. If you see the object in his mouth, try to remove it. Check the baby's breathing once every 10 seconds. If he's breathing, lay him on his side and wait for the ambulance.
4. If you weren't able to remove the obstruction, and your baby still isn't breathing, start giving artificial respiration. Take a breath, seal the baby's mouth and nose tightly with your lips, and blow breath into the baby's mouth. Repeat 5 times. If the child doesn't start to breathe, start doing chest compressions: 30 compressions with two fingers on the chest (lower part of the breastbone) and then give 2 breaths. After 3 sequences check if the baby has started to breathe. If not, call an ambulance quickly and continue doing chest compressions. Repeat the sequences until the ambulance arrives.
 

Magda

Mum of 9 year old Julka, 13 years of professional experience

dr Barbara Leszczyńska

Paediatrician
- consulting

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