Sunday, January 28, 2007

Day 342 - How to Help a Choking Infant

Today's first time parenting tip - Use 5 back blows, then 5 chest thrusts to help a choking infant.

Your baby is chowing down on some cut up pieces of fruit when all of a sudden you see them try to cough and their eyes go as big as saucers. They're choking - what are you going to do?

The important thing is to not panic. Commit the following steps to memory so you can spring right into action.

If they are not breathing and have something lodged in their throat, have someone call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. If you're alone, do one set of back blows and chest thrusts, and then call the emergency number as you are starting the second set (speaker phone comes in handy).

Hold your baby face down, lengthwise on your forearm with their head pointed towards your hand. They should be pointed down towards the ground, sit down or brace your arm against your thigh if you have to.

Using the palm of your hand, firmly give 5 back blows between your baby's shoulder blades.

If your baby doesn't cry or start breathing, flip him over to the other arm, face up. Give him 5 chest thrusts using two fingers. Place your fingers in the middle of his chest between his nipples.

Check to see if whatever it is he is choking on is in his mouth. If it is, sweep it out using your pinky finger like a hook. If it isn't, repeat the back blows, chest thrusts and check until your baby starts breathing again or goes unconscious.

If your baby loses consciousness, begin baby CPR. This is a topic that really requires a hands on approach, and you should see a certified CPR instructor to learn. A good place to start would be your local Red Cross.

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