Choking is a big risk to children under the age if 5, not least because they put everything in their mouth, but also because they tend to choke without letting anyone know it is happening., An adult would be waving their arms and trying to get your attention. Children are not the same. Parents often ask on first aid courses, how can I reduce the risk of my child choking? In fact it is a major reason for them attending the course.
How can I reduce the risk of my child choking?
It was after a first aid course last week where a parent came up to me and said that she has thought it was okay for her little one to eat in the move that I thought I would write this post.
I think most parents have an idea of how a meal time might look in their house prior to their children arriving. Picture the scene…….you spend your afternoon in the kitchen preparing a home cooked wholesome meal for your family. When you call them from their games / homework everyone sits down without complaining. They then all sit their nicely wanting to eat your delicious meal without protest. You all talk about your day, and share precious time together……. and then along come your children to shake you out of that vision.
Toddlers in particular do not really have the inclination to want to sit at the table and eat, they have much more interesting things to do with their time. It can sometimes be easier to let them move with food in their hands. This is really dangerous however from a choking perspective and can really increase the risk of choking. It is never a good idea to feed a toddler on the move. If they won’t sit and eat, take the food off them and let them return to the table at a later point, but don’t let them run around while eating.
This goes for older children as well, my own daughter decided to run across the room with a strawberry in her mouth and very nearly choked.
What steps should I take to lower the risk?
It is not possible to totally eliminate the risk, but there are things you can do to lessen it:
Keep your child seated
Avoid foods like boiled sweets and lollies,
Cur up grapes, sausages, cheery tomatoes 🍅,
Keep an eye in them while they are eating so you can spot when they choke.
Encourage them to swallow their mouthful before they talk,
What else can I do?
A first aid course is a great way to learn the skills needed to manage choking and other emergencies, with the opportunity for some hands on practice with manikins.
Safety First Welling runs regular open parent first aid courses and can deliver them in the comfort of your own home as well. Safety First Welling delivers first aid and one of our topics we always cover is choking management
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