The baby is choking, how to react?

The baby was there, next to you, babbling or calm, when suddenly something seems wrong: he starts to cough, his breathing becomes wheezy or abnormal… He may be choking. So you need to react as quickly as possible, even if you haven’t noticed that she’s swallowing something.

What are the signs to recognize?

  • Cough Sudden: In the case of choking due to inhalation of a foreign body, the child most often starts to cough suddenly, several times, which is called sudden onset cough. A normal and often effective reflex, Fortunately. “The child most often succeeds in spontaneously extract this foreign body inhaled, thanks to the efforts of coughing”, confirms the pediatrician.
  • respiratory distress : cough resulting from the penetration of a foreign body into the respiratory tract, can also be accompanied by significant respiratory distress, such as signs of suffocation (the child does not have enough air) or abnormal breath sounds, stridor, whistle.
  • Absence of cough or noises.. It also happens that by choking, the child can no longer cough, speak or produce any sounds.
  • the child can lose consciousnessbut this is a rare case.
  • The color of the skin, on the other hand, is not a very evocative criterion “the child can turn a little red if he coughs, or bluish due to the lack of oxygen, but this is too subjective (depending on the natural skin color of the child himself). ) and not very revealing to know if we are facing suffocation”, reinstates the pediatrician.

What causes choking in babies or young children?

at[person]’s house child under 5 years, the risk of suffocation is particularly high, even if there is an adult next to you. So you should never minimize the risks.

In young children, it is more common inhalation of a foreign bodywhich is once in two a peanutor other vegetable foreign body (such as a pistachio, a hazelnut…), a piece of cheese, fruit… “This is quite common”, admits the pediatrician, “we forget, for example, that the small grain of grape given to your son, a plug can be formed just with the skin of the fruit”, he recalls.

Another common cause of choking: being put in the mouth by a young child of a small object (marble, token, toy piece…) that obstructs the child’s breathing. “Most foreign body inhalations in children occur during food or playso most of the time in the presence of an adult witness”, warns the doctor.

Can Babies Choke When Spitting Up Milk?

For the pediatrician, if we talk about milk, then no, the risk ofsuffocation is not proven : “In the case of a bottle of milk that makes a child cough, we will say rather that this can cause a false route, that is, an accidental step in the “wrong” pipe, with the appearance of coughing to restore the problem, Just like in adults. The risk he comes fromobstruction by an object, that prevents breathing.

On the other hand, in children who have not yet acquired the ability to chew, choking can occur from food blockage and threaten the vital prognosis in a child quite quickly. It is for example the child of a few months, who is proposed during the food diversification.big chunks of food to swallow without chewing first (pieces of hard fruit such as apples or pieces of Strasbourg sausage).

What to do when a baby is choking? first aid gestures

Before undertaking the first aid maneuvers, it is advisable to observe the situation: the action to be carried out by the lifeguard will not be the same depending on the effective or ineffective nature of the cough.

In case of effective cough

If the baby or child cough effectively and remain conscious, stimulate the cough and see if it clears the obstruction. No need to pat yourself on the backas long as you cough. Then watch the child until help arrives.

In case of ineffective cough: 5 pats on the back

If the baby’s or child’s cough proves ineffective, the child I can not speak no longer And presents respiratory distress brutal with stridor, cyanosis or even loss of consciousness, it is urgent to proceed with first aid gestures and quickly practice clearance maneuvers. In an infant or young child:

  • Position the child astride your flexed thigh, head down.
  • Continue 5 firm hits in the back between the 2 shoulder bladeswith the palm of the hand.

In case of failure, in infants less than 1 year: rapid compressions

  • Turn him over holding his head and neck
  • carry out 5 quick chest compressions with 2 fingers until the foreign body is expelled

In children older than 1 year: the Heimlich method

From one year of age, abdominal thrusts (or Heimlich maneuver) can be proposed if the 5 firm pats on the back have not given the expected response.

  • Wrap your arms around your child’s chest.
  • Place a fist above the navelthe other hand placed flat on the fist.
  • smash fist towards you and up at the same time.
  • Repeat until the foreign body is expelled.

in the unconscious child

  • Open the airway and check for a foreign body is present
  • Practice 5 breaths (word of mouth).
  • Without resumption of ventilation, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with ventilation and then external chest compressions for 1 minute (if you are the only rescuer), before calling for help and continuing CPR.
  • If there are several adults in the place, one of them will call 15 during the maneuver.

After these maneuvers, it is important check whether the child is breathing spontaneously or not. The child must then be installed in side safety position (PLS), to avoid vomiting or disorientation while waiting for help.

Fortunately, simple gestures make it possible to avoid or reduce the number of domestic accidents.

  • Keep out of the child’s reach all the little things (ball, plastic token, buttons, beads, etc.) or small parts of toys, as well as button batteries
  • Don’t leave it at your fingertips small foods
  • take care of your son when he eats and plays
  • Save the plastic bags out of reach of your small children
  • Do not use blankets, quilts, cushions or bumpers in the crib, which can promote the unexpected death of the baby.
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