Choking occurs quite often in infants during feeding. It also occurs when they put small objects into their mouth or nostrils. These objects may block the wind pipe and cause great discomfort in the child.In infants, when choking occurs, the child finds it difficult to breathe due to partial or total blockage of the airway. A choking infant may begin to cough or struggle to find breathe. When this happens, immediate first aid should be administered to dislodge the blockage from the airway.
Administering First Aid for Infant Choking
How to Administer first aid for a Choking infant (0-12 Months).
1. Confirm that baby is choking by observing difficulty in breathing due to possible obstruction
2. Call Emergency Number and stay on the line putting your phone on speaker as you speak to a responder.
3. Hold baby (facedown) using your forearm with the head tilting slightly downwards. (Support the baby with your thighs)
4. Using the heel of your free hand, give 5 back slaps directly hitting the area between the two shoulders. (this should be fast and strong)(Check Picture below) If the airway is still blocked, proceed to 5.
5. Turn the baby to lie on the back(face up) on your thigh still with the head lower than the body. With two fingers, locate the chestbone slightly below the nipples. Press down with your fingers 5 times to reach a depth of about One-third the depth of the chest. (Pix below).
6. If this blockage remains, repeat 4 & 5 and continually check to ensure that the child is conscious and responsive.
If a child becomes unresponsive, administer CPR while waiting for help. Your emergency responder would guide you appropriately on steps to take. It is essential that you stay on the line as you get response, till the situation calms or the medics arrive.
Have you observed a baby choke before? Were you able to do anything in the situation? This is useful information for everyone. Let’s keep more babies alive.