If you have a child, there’s a good chance that you’ve experienced your child choking on food at some point. While choking can be scary and stressful, it doesn’t always require medical attention. In fact, most cases of choking in children are treatable at home without calling an ambulance or going to the hospital with a help device like Lifevac. Below we take a look at what to do if your child is choking and how to keep them safe from this common problem:
Sit down on a chair and lean the child forwards.
- Sit down on a chair and lean the child forwards.
- Use back blows in an upward movement at a speed and force that is comfortable for you and the child, but not so fast that it causes any pain to either of you. If you’re using a child’s toy without instructions or safety advice, always follow your instincts when deciding how hard they should be hit; this will vary from case to case and will depend on factors such as the age and size of your choking victim.
- Perform abdominal thrusts in a downward movement against the abdomen with maximum force if necessary until your hand becomes numb, or there are no more signs of life (e.g., coughing). Do not attempt this step if there is no longer any visible evidence that your patient is alive—in fact; it’s best if all attempts at resuscitation have failed before trying these techniques again because each subsequent round increases their likelihood of failure exponentially! If there are still no signs after five minutes or so, then call an ambulance immediately!
Give five back blows for their choking symptoms.
If you have a child who is choking, there are several steps you can take that could help save their life. One of those steps includes asking them to cough up the object that is blocking their airway. If this does not work, begin giving five back blows:
- Place one hand on the back of the infant’s head and gently tilt their head back.
- Extending your other arm towards their chest, use your heel or palm to give five sharp blows between their shoulder blades
- After each blow, ask if they feel like coughing or if they can breathe more easily; repeat as necessary until the object no longer comes out.
If back blows don’t relieve the blockage, give five abdominal thrusts.
If back blows don’t relieve the blockage, give five abdominal thrusts:
- Use a fist and not your finger.
- Position yourself behind your child and place his or her body on the floor so that he or she can breathe easier.
- Lean over your child’s abdomen, with one knee on the ground; make sure that his or her head is tilted back far enough so that they can breathe while lying on their back.
Alternate between five back blows and five abdominal thrusts.
If you suspect that a child is choking, perform five back blows and five abdominal thrusts. This should be done in alternating succession; that is, do one back blow followed by one abdominal thrust, then repeat the process until the object is dislodged.
For back blows: The heel of your hand should be placed on the child’s upper back directly between their shoulder blades and below their neck. Tap sharply five times between their shoulder blades so as not to push too hard or too soft above or below their rib cage.
For abdominal thrusts: Make sure that you are standing behind the choking victim (you shouldn’t ever do this from in front of them) and wrap both arms around their waist with your fist under the victim’s ribs just above his/her belly button (or in front if you can’t reach all of his/her abdomen). Now lift upward forcefully until he/she starts coughing; release immediately so as not to cause any damage when he/she does start coughing up whatever got stuck!
Call an ambulance if they’re still choking after three cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts.
If the child is still choking after three cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts, call an ambulance. Use Lifevac – the Choking First Aid Device while you wait for the paramedics to arrive.
Don’t forget to call an ambulance if your child is still choking after three cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts. In most cases, the emergency team can remove a foreign object from the airway or administer treatment for other dangerous conditions.