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What to do if your child is choking.

By Kristelle Bechayda

As much as us parents want to keep our child protected at all cost, we can never know if incidents will occur on our watch. This sheds light on why it's important we know how to give first aid, especially when help is not within reach.

During the recently held First Aid for Kids Training by Glenmark Philippines, Inc., medical practitioners were invited to discuss and give demonstrations on how to perform a few first aid procedures, one of which the measures parents can take if their child is choking.

Check for responsiveness.

According to Ken Laureano, RN, of Early Intervention Management, the first thing to check is the severity of the choking, which can be gauged on the child's responsiveness.

"Mild choking means a person is choking but he can cough or speak," Laureano explained. To dislodge the object, he added that parents can perform abdominal thrust on the child until it is removed. This he explained in the demonstration done by Dr. Dan Luchangco, who works at the Emergency Department of Makati Medical Center.

Though abdominal thrust might look violent, Laureano said it is necessary. He also advised parents to continue giving the child five abdominal thrust until either the object is dislodged or the victim becomes unresponsive.

Perform CPR if the child is unresponsive.

However, Laureano also cited a possibility of not getting any response. He said a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) will have to be performed when the child is 'trying to cough or cry but no sound is coming out,' or if they are already turning blue.

"When someone is choking and they become unresponsive, huminto na yung puso nila. Hindi na sila humihinga, hindi na tumitibok yung puso. So it's an actual threat for children and babies because they could die." Laureano explained.

When performing CPR, he added to remember the terms chest compression, airway, and breathing. "After the compression, you will open the airway and will look for the obstructive object. If you don't see it, you give two breaths. Whether pumasok or hindi, you will again resume chest compression and then go back to airway and breathing." he said.

"So the goal of [doing] chest compression is to dislodge the object doon sa airway of the victim." he said.

If it's the baby who is choking.

Choking can also occur to babies, especially those who are just starting to take solid foods. Laureano and Dr. Luchangco once again showed the parents some easy steps on how to dislodge the obstructive object from their airways.

1. Support the head and neck.

Remember that very fragile yung neck ng baby. Mahina pa yung muscle niya. Wala pa silang control, so you always support the neck and the head kasi the head is heavy.

2. Put the baby in a straddling position.

Turn the baby over your forearm, straddling the legs.

3. Give five back slaps.

With the heel of your hand, you give five quick back slaps in between the shoulder blades. It should be forceful. It is necessary. Otherwise, pag hindi natanggal yung object, the patient will go into cardiac arrest.

4. Perform chest thrusts.

Support the neck with both hands, turn the baby on the other forearm and straddle the baby. Then do chest thrust similar to compression.

5. Check the airway.

After performing chest thrust, check the airway if the object already came out. If not, Laureano advises to repeat the process again.


One of the things that the medical practitioners discussed at the First Aid for Kids Training is what parents can do if their child is choking.
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Title Annotation:Moms and Kids
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Mar 9, 2019
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