First Aid for Choking

How safe are my children’s toys?

All children’s toys are vigorously tested before being allowed to be sold as toys. However, accidents can still happen. I am a first aid trainer and would like to raise your awareness of what to do when things go wrong.

Choking Hazards

We regularly see how we should chop foods like grapes and sausages to reduce the risk of choking, but food is not the only risk of choking especially in children. Let’s face it anything goes in the mouth of a child as they are super inquisitive.

One way to check if a toy or object is a choking hazard grab the inside of a toilet roll. Before it gets turned into a Pirates telescope or a space rocket you can use it to check if a toy is a choking risk. If a toy can fit easily into the toilet roll then it will fit easily into a child’s mouth meaning it IS a choking hazard!

First Aid for choking.

“If they are loud and red let them go ahead, if they are silent and blue, they need help from you”

Noise is always a good sign, including gagging and coughing. Be prepared to still take action however they are likely to sort this out themselves.

Baby Under 1

Stage 1

  • Sit down and lay your baby face down along your thighs as upside as possible, supporting their head with your hand.
  • Give up to 5 sharp back blows with the heel of 1 hand in the middle of the back between the shoulder blades.

If that does not work

Stage 2

  • Keeping them upside down lay your baby face up along the length of your thighs.
  • Find the breastbone and place 2 fingers in the middle.
  • Give 5 sharp chest thrusts (pushes), compressing the chest by about a third.

Ring 999 as soon as possible, and repeat 1,2,1,2. If they become unconscious start CPR.

Child over 1

Stage 1

  • Lay a small child face down on your lap as you would a baby.
  • If this isn't possible, support your child in a forward-leaning position and give 5 back blows from behind.

If this does not work

Stage 2

  • Stand or kneel behind your child. Place your arms under the child's arms and around their upper abdomen.
  • Clench your fist and place it between the navel and ribs.
  • Grasp this hand with your other hand and pull sharply inwards and upwards.
  • Repeat up to 5 times.
  • Make sure you don't apply pressure to the lower ribcage, as this may cause damage.

Ring 999 as soon as possible, and repeat 1,2,1,2. If they become unconscious start CPR.

Another hidden risk… Batteries

More specifically the small round button or circular batteries. These can be found in musical books and many electronic toys. (Other items such as hearing aids, car key fobs and slim remote controls also use these batteries) Ensure to inspect these types of toys regularly, they should be secured shut with a screw.

These batteries are particularly dangerous as they are easily swallowed. When the chemicals from saliva mix with those in the battery it creates the same solution people use to unblocks drains! Where ever the battery settles, whether in the throat or stomach it can take less than 2 hours for the battery to burn a hole in the bodies tissue.

If you suspect your child has swallowed a battery ring 999 immediately do not wait for any symptoms.

Do not give them a drink or encourage them to be sick.

REMEMBER a quiet toddler is always suspicious!!! They are usually drawing on your walls! ;-)

If you liked these tips don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @peachfirstaid.


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