What To Do If a Toddler is Choking – Quick Tips for Parents
As parents, we would all agree that choking is one of the most disturbing things that could happen to your baby. Every day as a parent, you have to keep learning about various ways to take good care of your infant. This guide explains the causes, effects, and what to do if a toddler is choking.
What is choking?
Choking occurs when there is an inability to breathe due to food or an object blocking the airway. It most times happens when a food particle obstructs air passage flow in the throat and can lead to intense choking that could have dire complications.
Causes and Threats of choking
There are a variety of things that can lead to choking in toddlers. It is next to normal for children to insert objects in their mouth often, and it may be categorized as part of their way of wanting to know or do more in this world. Things such as beads, buttons, and small stones can get stuck in the airway of a toddler, which will undoubtedly lead to intense choking. And here you are asking yourself, what to do if a toddler is choking
It is likely to occur due to a partial blockage since a complete backup is bound to cause it. It can become life-threatening if the toddler doesn’t get enough air or if the passage doesn’t get free on time, leading to brain damage.
Effects of choking
- It can cause brain damage either permanently or temporarily.
- Inflammation of the brain.
- Can result in prolonged difficulty in breathing
- It can also cause complicated situations to some joints of the body due to the brain’s harm.
What Can Make a Baby choke?
Food is the most common way to experience choking, and that calls for how parents should introduce essential age-appropriate foods to each baby. It would be best if you did not leave objects prone to toddlers’ eyes hanging around as their inquisitive nature can make them try out what they are not meant to put in their mouth. Foods like:
Meat: Yes, meat can lead to choking in toddlers as it is not appropriate for that age to start munching chunks of beef.
Peanut butter: It is very thick and sticky enough to cause damage to the airway. It can cause intense choking if care is not taken.
Chewing gum, candies, nuts, grapes, etc., are also foods that need to be avoided.
Be careful not to leave objects like toys, pens, coins, buttons, batteries, and others in places where toddlers can easily pick them up and do something that would threaten their breathing.
Ways to avoid choking
To avoid emergency scenarios there are some precautionary steps to take to avoid getting to the critical stage of what to do if a toddler is choking.
- Avoid placing objects at the reach of toddlers.
- Avoid giving them foods dangerous to their breathing ability in the sense that they pose a threat to how they relate to it.
- Ensure they are well monitored at all times to prevent them from doing things that may lead to choking.
How to Know If a Toddler is choking?
- There would be a change in skin color to a bluish display.
- There would be difficulty in breathing. The toddler would find it hard to breathe normally, and this is due to the prolonged choking. So the faster it is detected, the better it is for the health of the baby.
- There would be a display of weak and ineffective coughing. The toddler would be coughing consistently, which would put her in a fragile state and may lead to a very complicated situation.
- There is an inability to cry or make audible sounds. The baby won’t be able to call out loud if there is an intrusion and make sounds or audibly react to things due to the choking effect.
- There would be some high-pitched sounds in the process of inhaling. The baby would be making concurrent sounds at every gap of inhaling air or any substance.
What to do if a toddler is choking
- First attempt to verify if the baby is choking because taking steps isn’t for it but for symptoms like gagging or ordinary coughing.
- Contact the nearest medical center. Seek emergency medical aid by establishing contact with any available authorized medical institutions so they can be on the move before proceeding to subsequent steps while awaiting their arrival. Let them know the condition’s progress so they can understand what actions you are to take before they arrive.
- Put the face of your baby down on your forearm. With the help of your thigh, apply firm pressure to the area between the shoulder blades, and the pressure has to be very strong and swift to work as planned. This technique’s advantage is the creation of vibration in the baby’s airway, which tends to eject the object out.
- Turn your baby to her back and keep her head below her chest level. Then locate and press the breastbone about five-five times at adequate pressure to transfer air from the lungs into the airway. This has a high tendency to push the object out.
- If you by any chance locate the substance or object obstructing the flow of air in the airway, you can make a cautious approach in attempting to remove it with your finger. Only do this if your level of certainty in locating the object is next to 100%
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The ‘Don’ts’ During the Process of Resuscitating Your Toddler
- Do not perform a choking first aid if the toddler shows signs of forced coughs. Displaying an extreme crying act, or breathing fine and normal. You have to be alert and pumped for action just in case things go ugly and the situation gets worse.
- Do not make any attention to removing and forcefully pull any suspected object. Or substance blocking the airway out if the toddler is conscious and is in a state of alert.
- Do not attempt chest thrusts; or back blows if breathing by the toddler stops due to infection or damage to the head. But instead trying to apply CPR to resuscitate her.