I was reading the paper and shocked to find out that choking is the third most common cause of infant death in the UK, after road accidents and house fires. And the problem here is half the population doesn’t know what to do if someone chokes or they use the wrong techniques. If that is the case, I believe most Malaysians don’t know either. And yet it’s very important to know what to do because when it does happen, we must act quickly. We have three to four minutes before death can occur.
Steps that could save your child’s life (Sources: Daily Express, 6th July 2011, p.31):
DON’T WASTE A MOMENT: If the object doesn’t come out when they cough, act immediately. Look to see if there is an object, but take it out only if you think you can reach it without pushing it further down the throat.
FROM BIRTH TO ONE YEAR OLD: Lay the baby face-down, with their head lower than their body. Give five firm blows to the back between the shoulder blades with the flat of your hand. If the airway is still blocked, turn them over on your arm, with the head still low. Using two fingers in the middle of the chest, push down a third of the depth of the chest. Check the mouth after each push and remove any obvious obstruction. After three cycles of back blows followed by chest thrusts, dial the ambulance and continue cycles. Never do an abdominal thrust.
FOR CHILDREN AGED ONE TO PUBERTY: Place the child over your knee and give five back blows. If this doesn’t work, give up the five abdominal thrusts. Stand behind them and place a fist between the navel and the bottom of the breastbone and pull inwards and upwards. If the obstruction does not clear after three cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts, dial the ambulance and continue the cycles until help arrives.
Young children learn about the world around them by putting things in their mouth. As parents, there are several things which we can do to avoid bad things happen to them:-
- Stay with them while they are eating.
- Cut vegetables and fruits into small strips.
- Check for bones.
- Refuse to give them sweets and nuts.
- Only give your child appropriate toys.
- Learn first aid.
I’ve done my first aid course two years ago. I need to remind myself to go for a refreshing course soon.