WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I've recently had the horrific experience of witnessing my 1 year old choking on me, with only me available to help and so I ask. What would you do??
The story goes like this......
She was sitting in her chair happily munching on a biscuit, she's only recently getting to grips with lumpy food so this in itself was a bit scary. Trying to give her the independence she needs to try new things I moved over to make the dinner. Then the coughing started. A few coughs at first, I though OK don't panic don't run over, she needs to learn to eat those lumps and she'll figure it out.
The coughing increased quickly and I knew instantly that this wasn't one of those times that she was going to recover by spitting out a lump by herself. I ran over and she was gasping for air, slowly turning red redder and nearly a purple colour, a desperate look in her eyes.
I picked her up thinking the biscuit had lodged in her throat. I put her quickly over my forearm facing down and gave her 5 hard back blows, as she gasped for breath my 3-year-old stood frozen to the spot, the panic starting to rise inside me. What was I going to do? Run out into the road and scream??... a lot of good that was going to do my baby.
I thought if it’s a biscuit surely, it's going to melt?? I picked her up opened her mouth put my finger in trying to feel what it was, my heart sunk as I felt something hard at the back of her throat, it wasn't a biscuit. I didn't know what it was but it sure as hell wasn't coming up. Time seemed to slow down. Horrendous thoughts started running through my head. This was up to me, was she going to stop breathing on me altogether. Conversations started running through my head of how I was going to tell her Dad that I had let her die. Fight or flight set in, I threw her back over my arm and gave her 8 more back blows.
She finally coughed spitting out one of her brother’s stickers. Bent in half it had gotten lodged in her throat as she tried to swallow it. One of those stickers with the hard back and fake eye attached. The sticky side near her throat so it was very difficult to cough up. I had only given out about 10 minutes before that to her brother for having the stickers on the ground. We picked them all up and put them on the table. I still don't know how it got in her chair.
I hugged her like I never hugged her before. I started shaking from the shock but was so glad that it was over and that I was able to help.
I was so glad to have had 2 premature babies as this is how I knew what action to take. Before leaving special care where your baby stays when they are premature, you are trained on what to do if your baby is choking or if your baby stops breathing. I would say to everyone whether you have kids or not, teach yourself what to do in this situation.
Did you know that choking is the leading cause of injury and death in children under 4? That is just ridiculous when a lot of these deaths could be avoided if the general public knew what to do in this situation. The first few seconds are crucial.
I really believe that simple first aid is something all new parents should be shown before leaving the hospital with their new baby, can you imagine if everyone had this information, how many little lives could be saved.
Please Please Please have a look at this video, it's a brilliant easy and fun video on what to do if your child is choking. Even get your older kids to watch. It is lifesaving information.
St John's Ambulance - The Chokeables
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