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How to Cope with Choking in Children (298 words)

If a child accidentally inhales something from the mouth choking will result. Coughing nearly always dislodges whatever is causing the obstruction to the air passages but if this does not happen quickly then you will have to help to dislodge it.

Action plan…
Look inside the mouth to see if it is possible to remove the object but do not put your fingers in to the back of the throat in case you push the object further down the windpipe. Then…

Babies under one year:

  • Lie the baby along your forearm or thigh with the head facing down.
  • Give up to five firm slaps between the shoulder blades.
  • If this does not work lie the baby on the floor on his back. Apply two fingers to an area a finger’s width below the nipples in the middle of the chest and press down about 2cm.image 32 How to Cope with Choking in Children (298 words)
  • Keep repeating back slaps then chest thrusts.
  • If the baby becomes unconscious do the chest thrusts five times then blow once gently into the lung.
  • If you are on your own take your baby to the phone while you dial emergency services but keep repeating these instructions until help arrives.

Children over one year:

  • Initially try to get the child to cough. Apply back slaps between the shoulder blades with the child leaning over your arm or the arm of a chair.
  • If this does not work apply chest thrusts. Place the heel of the hand two fingers’ width above where the ribs meet the breastbone. Press down five times.
  • If this does not work try the back slapping again followed by chest thrusts.

Make sure an ambulance is called and repeat these instructions until it arrives.

Please be aware this article offers general guidance only and does not replace the need for medical consultation and expert advice.

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