A top tip to help keep children safe at Easter
There has been a lot of talk in the press recently about the dangers of children choking on smaller Easter eggs. As such, we decided to raise some awareness of the issue – and the response we have had been amazing. It just shows how interested people really are in accident prevention and staying safe. Read on to learn a top tip to help keep children safe this Easter.
The story came about after a mother shared her story about how her daughter choked on a mini egg several years ago. Her story is a stark reminder of just how easily small, round foods can become a choking hazard for young children. For years now, we’ve known that grapes are potentially very dangerous for young children. As a result, many schools and nurseries across the country have now banned children from bringing them in as part of their packed lunch. Mini Easter eggs are now being flagged as a danger too. Parents are being advised to either buy larger, hollow eggs that are less of a choking hazard – or to supervise their children much more closely when they are eating them.
Please don’t panic though. Although choking is very common and extremely frightening, it is still comparatively rare that it proves fatal.
How to help if your child is choking
Babies and young children can choke on anything small enough to fit through a loo roll. To prevent choking, keep small objects out of reach, cut food into very small pieces and always supervise children when eating.
If a child is choking
- Remain calm and encourage them to cough to clear it themselves.
If they are choking and unable to speak/cry and are struggling to breathe
- Perform 5 back blows – Bend the child forward, supporting them on their chest. With the other hand give a firm back blow between the shoulder blades.
- Check to see if the blockage has cleared before repeating.
If the obstruction hasn’t cleared after 5 back blows – Phone 999 and start abdominal thrusts
- Stand behind the child and place one hand in a fist under their rib cage. Use the other hand to pull up and under in a J shaped motion, to dislodge the obstruction. Perform abdominal thrusts up to 5 times, checking each time to see if the obstruction has cleared.
Anyone who has received abdominal thrusts should be seen by a doctor.
Never perform abdominal thrusts on a baby, use chest thrusts instead.
- Keep going and alternating five back blows and five abdominal thrusts until emergency help arrives.
If at any point the child becomes unconscious, commence CPR.
We hope you will not need to use this – but it’s always best to be prepared, not scared!
Written by Emma Hammett for First Aid for Life
It is strongly advised that you attend a Practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. Please visit www.firstaidforlife.org.uk or call 0208 675 4036 for more information about our courses.
First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.