Mama’s Helper : Knowing what to do during a choking incident

Our kids getting hurt, in any way really, is a fear.  Obviously.  Choking falls in this incredibly scary zone.

This fear is so intense that parents I work with often confuse choking and gagging.   I was once doing a session with a dad who started sweating every time his son mildly gagged.  It finally dawned on me that he thought his son was choking and near death.  Explaining gagging to that dad forever decreased his stress level at mealtime .  At the same time, the session highlighted the importance of infant/child first aid training .  He was incredibly scared because he didn’t know what to do.

The confidence that infant and child first aid training  gives you is immeasurable during the “learning to eat table foods” phase.   I don’t know too many families that have this knowledge unless it is already part of their professional training.  It is empowering to know what to do for your baby (other than calling 911) if he or she is unable to manage a piece of food and it leads to choking.

My second baby has always had some difficulty managing thin liquids and I assume she has taken liquids into her lungs more than the average baby.  Luckily she’s been able to handle it and stayed healthy.  We’ve been able to make adjustments to keep her safer, and her coordination has improved.  She has had a couple of episodes where she’s had trouble with a food.  One particular incident led to uncontrollable coughing, a red face and bugged out eyes.   My heart started racing, I  hauled her out of her highchair and put her in the position to start back blows and thankfully, she started vomiting profusely.  It was one of the scariest moments of my mama career (with the exception of the H&M incidence where E decided to hide quietly in the clothes racks for about 10 minutes).


Something to think about when you are booking your prenatal classes.


The Heart and Stroke Foundation has a link to purchase an Infant Choking & CPR Anytime course where they will send your a mannequin and DVD.  $35

Calgary Birth and Babies puts on an Infant and Child CPR & Airway management course.  $40/person. $60/couple

Calgary First Aid will send someone to your house to teach up to 4 people.  I’m thinking grandparents might want to get in on it.  $150

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