Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tips on How to Help a Child Who is Choking

In addition to Child Identification, we here at Ident-A-Kid are concerned with your child’s physical well-being. Children are known for putting things in their mouths that are too small and can block the airway. Due to this, you and your family should be aware of some general CPR techniques. Below is some information provided by the American Heart Association about how to tell when your child is choking and what you should do.
Signs of Choking
Choking occurs when something blocks the airway. When the airway is completely blocked, the child cannot breathe. Choking can be a frightening emergency. But if you act quickly, you can help the child breathe.
If the child can speak or cough loudly, the child's airway is only partly blocked. You should not try to open the airway. If you are worried about the child's breathing, phone 9-1-1.
Signs of choking in the child with a completely blocked airway are
• The child suddenly begins to cough, gag or have high-pitched, noisy breathing
• An older child may make the choking sign (holding the neck with one or both hands)
• The child has bluish lips or skin
Actions to Relieve Choking in a Child
When a child is choking and can't breathe or speak, you must give abdominal thrusts (the Heimlich maneuver). The Heimlich maneuver pushes air from the child's lungs like a cough. This can help remove the blocking object. You should give abdominal thrusts until the object is forced out or the victim becomes unresponsive.
1. If you think a child is choking, ask the child "Are you choking?" If he nods, tell him you are going to help.
2. Kneel or stand firmly behind him and wrap your arms around him so that your hands are in front.
3. Make a fist with one hand.
4. Put the thumb side of your fist slightly above the navel (belly button) and well below the breastbone.
5. Grasp the fist with your other hand and give quick upward thrusts into his abdomen.
6. Give thrusts until the object is forced out and he can breathe, cough, or talk or until he stops responding.
If the choking is not relieved, the child will become unresponsive. When the child becomes unresponsive, shout for help, lower the child to the ground, and start CPR. If someone else is present, send that person to phone 9-1-1 while you start CPR.
The steps of CPR of the child who has become unresponsive after choking are the same, with one addition.
1. Yell for help. If someone comes, send that person to phone your emergency response number (or 911) and get the AED if available.
2. Lower the victim to the ground, faceup. If you are alone with the child victim, start the steps of CPR.
3. Every time you open the airway to give breaths, open the victim's mouth wide and look for the object. If you see an object, remove it with your fingers. If you do not see an object, keep giving sets of 30 compressions and two breaths until an AED arrives, the victim starts to move, or trained help takes over.
4. After about five cycles or two minutes, if you are alone, leave the child victim to call your emergency response number (or 911) and get the AED if available.
Chest compressions may force the object out. If you are alone with the child and these steps don't work after about one minute, phone 9-1-1.

Reviewed/Updated: 10/28/2008
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