Infant Choking: How to Perform First Aid Safely

When you have an infant, the most important thing is to keep them safe. One way that you can do that is by knowing how to perform first aid on them, if necessary. First aid is designed to help with life-threatening situations, such as choking and burns. Choking occurs when an object gets stuck in your child's throat or airway. If this happens, then it prevents them from breathing properly and could lead to serious injury or death if not treated quickly enough. In this article, we'll discuss what signs of choking are and how you should respond in case of an emergency involving an infant choking on food or something else they've put into their mouth.

Infant choking is a medical emergency.

Choking is a medical emergency. If your baby is choking and you are not sure what to do, call 911 immediately. Even if the object is removed and your child appears fine, call 911 so they can be examined by a doctor.

If you're able to perform first aid on your own:

  • Perform abdominal thrusts over a hard surface (like the floor or ground) as soon as possible after finding out that your baby is choking on an object. Do not administer back slaps or finger sweeps unless specifically instructed by emergency medical professionals who have been trained in infant CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Make sure that their head remains lower than their feet during this process so there's no chance of pushing down on their chest cavity.

How to check for food in the mouth.

To check for food in the mouth, look at the baby's lips and tongue. If you see something like a piece of candy or an object stuck between their teeth, remove it with your fingers.

If you don't find anything in their mouth or throat, you may need to perform first aid on infants who are choking on food by using a Heimlich maneuver (see below).

How to perform abdominal thrusts (Heimlich maneuver).

The Heimlich maneuver is performed by placing your hands over your baby's abdomen, in the middle of the lower part of his/her breastbone. Then press hard and repeatedly until you dislodge the object. If your baby is sitting up, use one hand to support the head and neck; then use fingers from the other hand to sweep around inside the mouth (you may also use a finger). Infants and small children choke most often on food or toys that get stuck in their windpipes; these objects can be removed relatively easily by performing abdominal thrusts (Heimlich maneuver).

If you think your baby is choking, try to remove the object with your fingers. However, if you can't remove it or if it's lodged in their throat, then perform first aid on infants who are choking on food by using a Heimlich maneuver (see below).

Call 911 if you can't remove the object yourself or if your baby experiences any of these symptoms:

  • Call 911 if you can't remove the object yourself or if your baby experiences any of these symptoms:
  • Breathing problems (such as wheezing, coughing, or gagging)
  • Turning blue around the mouth and lips (cyanosis)
  • Dizziness, weakness, unconsciousness, or convulsions (a seizure) 
  • Not all objects are going to be the same. You will need to know the difference between an object caught in the windpipe and one that is caught in the esophagus. If something is stuck in the esophagus, it's called a "foreign body obstruction." If something is stuck in your baby's throat--the tube that carries food from the mouth down into the stomach--it's called an "airway obstruction." A baby can choke if they put something into their mouth that is too big or doesn't fit easily through this tube.
  • Some common objects include coins; toys containing small parts; candy such as chocolates with nuts inside them; peanut butter on bread slices without removing crusts first before putting peanut butter side down onto plate where there may still be crumbs from previous slice eaten earlier by another person who didn't wash hands after eating said sandwich but instead went straight over the top of the crumb-covered plate again with hands still dirty from previous sandwich making process.
  • In some cases there may be no sign at all until later when symptoms start showing up--especially if someone has been coughing recently due to cold weather conditions outside where germs spread quickly through air currents created by vehicles moving past each other along busy streets filled with pedestrians walking briskly back home after work hours ended early today due

If you're not sure what to do, call 911 right away.

If you're not sure what to do, call 911 right away. If a baby is choking and you can't remove the object yourself or if your baby experiences any of these symptoms: coughing, gagging, or sputtering; difficulty breathing; turning blue; vomiting--then call for help immediately.

Avoid ineffective and dangerous pinch-and-blow techniques that have been promoted by organizations in the past but are now known to be ineffective in removing foreign objects from small children's throats. Double-blind trials have consistently shown that abdominal thrusts are much more effective than other methods of clearing an airway obstruction in infants under one year old when performed correctly by trained rescuers with minimal instruction.

Conclusion

The most important thing to remember is to stay calm. Remember that the object is only in your child's mouth for a few seconds before you can remove it, and even if there are complications, they are unlikely to be severe enough to cause life-threatening problems.

FIRST AID CERTIFICATION
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