Would you know how to save a choking child? Your answer to this could be a matter of life and death. Situations that require emergency first aid could come at any moment and being prepared is key. The videos below tell you what to do in case your child chokes, becomes unconscious, or will need cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The steps are also in text below each video with info from St. John Ambulance, the British Red Cross, and BabyCenter.
These videos do not replace a first aid course which provides hands on training, such as the one by the Philippine Red Cross on Basic Life Support Child and Infant class. Contact them at 790-2366.
Choking A choking child may suddenly not be able to speak or breathe. She may be clutching at her neck or chest, and her skin may turn bright red or blue.
1. Ask if the child is choking. If the child can speak or is coughing and gagging, encourage her to continue coughing. This can already be enough to dislodge the object.
2. If coughing does not dislodge the object, stand behind the child, lean her forward and support her by placing one arm across her chest. Then, with the heel of your hand, firmly strike the child on the back between the shoulder blades. Give up to 5 back blows.
3. If back blows do not dislodge the object, kneel (if necessary) behind the child and put your arms around her. In between the child's belly button and chest, make a fist with one hand and grab the fist with your other. Pull sharply inwards and upwards up to 5 times.
4. If the child is still choking, call for help (911 is the Philippines' national emergency hotline) and repeat steps 2 to 3. If the child becomes unresponsive and is not breathing normally, start CPR (see below how to do this).
Unconscious/unresponsive but breathing normally A child who is passed out (or unresponsive but breathing normally) should not be left lying on their back and must be placed in the recovery position. This will keep the airway open and prevent the child from choking on their tongue or their vomit.
1. If the child is lying on her back, place the arm nearest you at a right angle of her body with the palm facing upwards.
2. Take the other arm and place it across the child's chest with her hand against the cheek that's nearest you. Hold this in place.
3. With the other hand, pull the knee, that's farther from you, upwards until the foot is flat on the floor.
4. Roll the child towards you so that she's lying on her side. Adjust the top leg so that it's at a right angle.
5. Tilt the head up to keep the airway open. Adjust the hand under the cheek if needed to keep the head tilted in place. Monitor the child's breathing until help arrives. Note: the video above shows the child being rolled in the other direction
Unconscious/unresponsive and not breathing normally Tap the child's shoulder and ask loudly if he's okay. If there's no reponse and he's not breathing, CPR may be necessary. This is a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths to keep the child's circulation going.
1. Call for help. 911 is the Philippines' national emergency hotline.
2. Place the child on his back on a firm surface. Tilt his head back to open the airway.
3. Pinch the nose closed and allow the mouth to fall open.
4. Seal your mouth around the child's mouth and blow until the child's chest rises. Remove your mouth and watch the child's chest fall. Give 5 initial rescue breaths.
5. Proceed with chest compressions by placing the heel of one hand in the center of the child's chest with the other hand on top. For small children, one hand is enough.
6. Keep your arms straight and press down vertically. Release, and allow the chest to come back up. Give 30 chest compressions at the rate of two per second. To help you, BabyCenter advises, “Count out loud: 'One and two and three and...,' pushing down as you say the number and coming up as you say 'and.' (The song 'Staying Alive' has the rhythm you're shooting for.)” 7. Then, give 2 rescue breaths and 30 chest compressions. Continue with this pattern until help arrives.