How To Save A Small Child From Choking

When a toddler or small child swallows something dangerous, the amount of time you have to react is precious. The longer oxygen is cut off from the brain, the more dangerous the situation can become. In fact, long-lasting brain damage can develop after just 5 minutes without a sufficient flow of oxygen. On average, an ambulance can take 5-10 minutes to respond to a call, so it's best to not take any chances when the clock is ticking. Thankfully there are a few things you can do in this situation to increase the odds of survival and decrease potential longterm damage. In the event of an emergency, remember to stay calm, act quickly, and follow these tips to hopefully save the child's life.

1. Place the child face down on your forearm and firmly hold their chin in place. Their head should be lower than their chest.

2. Use the ball of your hand to administer 5 short strikes between the shoulder blades. If the item does not dislodge itself, turn the child over onto their back.

3. Lay the child on your forearm facing you and stabilize their head. The head should be lower than chest and the child should be held at a 30° angle.

4. Use two fingers to administer 5 short strikes on the breastbone, about two fingers' width below the nipples.

If the item is still not dislodged after this, continue to alternate the two steps and immediately call 911 or the emergency services in your area.

Anyone working with and taking care of small children should know how and be willing to administer these procedures in the event of an emergency. Make sure to share this information with grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and babysitters to make sure your little one is always in safe hands.

Video for 03.22.2011

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