Small children under the age of three often put toys in their mouth as a natural part of the curiosity of learning but if their playthings are too small then there is the possibility they will get stuck in the windpipe and cause choking.
When a person’s airways are blocked and cause the person to stop breathing this is choking and can cause death. It is different to gagging which is the defence mechanism against choking and often occurs with young children when they are first introduced to solid food. It is a reflex to prevent choking and occurs when for example food is not properly chewed but gets taken back in the mouth, it will cause noises and coughing which will be a good sign that this is not choking.
Choking tends to leave the child silent – they cannot make a sound and they will look scared and may wave their arms around to try to get help; they may even start to change colour.
Tips in ensuring your child doesn’t choke
- Keep small toys away from young children. This includes marbles, popped balloons and anything that is small enough to fit in the throat.
- Make sure toys don’t have removable parts or parts that could be dislodged in rough play like eye beads in teddy bears
- Know the difference between choking and gagging and when to react.
- It is important to check the guidelines when buying new toys; most are age branded these days but it is more important to supervise your children while they are playing
What to do when your child is choking
- Be prepared by attending a First Aid Course or learning online how to react quickly
- You can perform the Heimlich Manoeuvre on a child over the age of one
Younger children should be held face down with their head beneath the body. Thump the middle of the back 5 times with the heel of the hand and then turn over and give 5 thumps near the ribs. Repeat 3 times and if the item has not dislodged by this point or your child loses consciousness then you should call the emergency services.
Putting fingers into the mouth in an attempt to dislodge food is no longer recommended since this may cause the food to be pushed further down.
If you have suffered an injury in the last three years which was somebody else’s fault then Accident Advice Helpline will assist you in making a claim for compensation. We have many years experience dealing with accidents at work and car accidents among many other situations so give us a call on 0800 689 0500 to speak to one of our advisors.
Date Published: July 22, 2015
Author: Accident Advice