Choking guidelines change – parents pay attention!

A choking child is something that every parent fears – and it’s pretty much imperative that all parents do a first aid course (says the mum who has the best of intentions but has not done one yet) and keep up to date with guidelines concerning matters of baby and child safety.

According to recent research, 47 per cent of parents admitted avoid giving their child certain foods for fear they might choke.

Not only that but a mere 9 per cent of parents would feel very confident administrating first aid if their child or another youngster started choking, while 16 per cent said they would not be confident at all. And more than a third of parents have seen their under-fives choke.

In light of which…

First aid charities St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross and St Andrew’s First Aid have issued new advice to parents on what to do if your baby is choking.

The new advice is to place the baby face down along the thigh while an adult strikes the child’s back. Previously this was done along the arm but the leg is thought to be more secure and to provide more support.

The alteration became official on 3 March, 2014. Here’s the full description on how to treat infant choking according to the St John Ambulance First Aid Manual:

“An infant (less than one year old) may be choking on food or a small object if they cannot cry or make any noise, they appear to have difficulty coughing or breathing, there is a purple/red/blue colour around the face and neck, or blueness to the lips.

  • Lay them face down on your thigh while supporting their head. Give the infant up to five back blows.
  • Turn the infant over so they are lying on your other thigh and check their mouth for obvious obstructions (do not do a blind finger sweep).

If choking persists:

  • try up to five chest thrusts. Place two fingers on the breastbone, one finger’s breadth below the nipple line, and push inwards and upwards towards the head.
  • check the mouth.

If the obstruction has still not cleared after repeating these steps three times:

  • take the infant with you to dial 999 or 112.
  • continue the cycles of back blows and chest thrusts while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.”

CLICK HERE to view. And CLICK HERE to book a first aid course if you have not yet done one.

Source: – “New advice on treating a choking baby given to parents by St John Ambulance, Red Cross and St Andrew’s First Aid”