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British Red Cross first aid for your family: Choking

08 JANUARY 2013

Nothing is more precious than your child's life.

And while no parent wants to imagine their little one in danger, it is crucial to have a good understanding of first aid to help protect your family from potentially fatal scenarios.

Would you know what to do if your child started choking? Or your baby was struggling to breathe?


first aid babies



HELLO! Online has teamed up with the British Red Cross for a very special series on safety that could make all the difference to you and your loved ones.

Red Cross: "We encourage all new and expectant parents to learn first aid as a safeguard for their family.

"First aid knowledge not only allows you to deal with day-to-day mishaps confidently but could even save your child's life.

"The last thing parents want to think about is seeing their children in danger but unfortunately accidents do happen - having the confidence to deal with them makes all the difference.


"What should I do if my child is choking?"



Choking is a major concern for parents and one the British Red Cross gets asked about repeatedly.

Small children are naturally inquisitive and like to put objects in their mouth; unfortunately this can lead to choking incidents. Thankfully the majority of choking situations are resolved with effective back blows.

Make yourself familiar with the key steps to help a baby or child who is choking; you will notice that you should follow different procedures if you are treating a baby (birth to one) to a child (one and above).



For a baby (birth to one):

1. Give up to five back blows. Hold the baby face down along your forearm with their head lower than their bottom. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades. If back blows do not dislodge the object, move on to step two.

The back blows create a strong vibration and pressure in the airway, which is often enough to dislodge the blockage. Dislodging the object will allow them to breathe again. Ensure you support their head while you hold them in the position described above.

baby first aid



2. Give up to five chest thrusts. Turn the baby over so they are facing upwards and place two fingers in the middle of their chest just below the nipples. Push inwards and upwards up to five times. If chest thrusts do not dislodge the object, repeat steps one and two.

Chest thrusts squeeze the air out of the baby’s lungs and may dislodge the blockage.

chest thrusts baby



3. Call 999 if the object has not dislodged after three cycles of back blows and chest thrusts.

For a child (one and above):

1. Give up to five back blows. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades. If back blows do not dislodge the object, move on to step two.

This creates a strong vibration and pressure in the airway, which is often enough to dislodge the blockage. Dislodging the object will allow them to breathe again.

first aid blows toddler


 


2. Give up to five abdominal thrusts. Hold the child around the waist and pull upwards and inwards above their belly button. If abdominal thrusts do not dislodge the object, repeat steps one and two.

Abdominal thrusts squeeze the air out of the lungs and may dislodge the blockage.

 

thrusts toddler



3. Call 999 if the object has not dislodged after three cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts.

Now you've read the facts you can explore child first aid videos. It'll take you just a few minutes to learn what to do in 20 different first aid situations, from choking and meningitis to burns and broken bones. redcross.org.uk/childrenfirstaid

The British Red Cross recently launched the First Aid Challenge. The campaign challenges parents and grandparents to join in the nationwide drive to learn first aid. Thousands have already signed up, including celebrities such as Konnie Huq, Stacey Solomon and Imogen Thomas. Learn these vital skills by signing up for free at redcross.org.uk/firstaidchallenge

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