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What to do if your baby or child chokes | mummymcauliffe

Family Life

Choking image
Jan 09

A genuine choking incident in your baby or child must be a very scary thing. Luckily, it’s not something that I’ve needed to ever deal with, but I’ve often thought that I really should know how to properly deal with such a situation. I imagine when your child is choking in front of you, all human logic escapes out the window, and parental instinct kicks in. But instinct might not necessarily be the best course of action and you could end up doing more harm than good.

Last year 15,000 under-five’s were admitted to A&E because of chocking.

This short video, which forms part of the Tesco BabySafe campaign, is five minutes genuinely well spent. It features experts from the British Red Cross teaching invaluable lifesaving skills on how best to treat a choking baby or toddler, and step by step instructions on what to do should an incident occur.

According to the video and British Red Cross research, there are a couple of choking myths that really need dispelling.  Joe Mulligan, first aid expert at the British Red Cross, clarifies:

“Myth 1: If a child is choking, you should put your fingers into their mouth. According to a Red Cross survey, this is what 53 per cent of parents with children under eight would do. Placing fingers into the throat could cause vomiting or damage the child’s throat.

Myth 2: If a child is choking, you should hang them upside down and shake them? Both are bad. It is fundamentally wrong to shake or hold your baby upside down by his feet – it’s too much of a risk to the baby”.

Have you ever had to help a choking child? Please share any advice or experiences below.

About the Author

Wendy McAuliffe

Social media & online PR consultant and trainer, and ex-journalist. Founder and Director of Populate Digital and Mum of two. Living by the sea in Bournemouth. @wendymcauliffe.

  • Catriona Regan

    Thanks for that Wendy, good to know what to do. 

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