New moms, here’s what to do when babies choke on food
By NCVC Staff | Published on Sep 24, 2023
As a new mom, there are few things more terrifying than seeing your baby choke on their food. It can happen in the blink of an eye, and if not handled correctly, it can be life-threatening. That’s why it’s crucial for moms to know the basics of first aid and how to protect their baby in such situations. So, if you’re a new mom, here’s what you need to do when your baby chokes on food.
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What to Do if Your Baby Chokes on Food?
Babies are unable to communicate how they feel, so it’s important for mothers to understand how they can help their little ones. Here are some steps you can take if you see your baby choking:
1. Stay Calm and Act Quickly
The first and most important step is to remain calm. Panicking will only make the situation worse. Allow your baby to cough up the object causing the choking on their own. Only proceed to the next steps if your baby is unable to do so.
2. Check the Baby’s Airway
If your baby is unable to cough or breathe, you need to check their airway. Lay your baby face down on your forearm, supporting their head with your hand. Then, use the heel of your other hand to give five quick, firm blows to their back between the shoulder blades.
3. Perform the Heimlich Maneuver
If your baby is still choking after the back blows, it’s time to perform the Heimlich maneuver. Place your baby face-up on your forearm and position two fingers just below their breastbone. With the heel of your other hand, give five quick, upward thrusts to help your baby cough out the object.
4. Call for Help
If your baby is still choking even after performing the Heimlich maneuver, immediately call for emergency medical assistance. If someone else is with you, ask them to call while you continue with the first aid steps.
5. Prevent Choking in the Future
The best way to prevent choking is to ensure that your baby eats safely. Cut their food into small, bite-sized pieces and avoid giving them hard, round, or sticky foods that can easily get stuck in their throat. Always make sure your baby is sitting upright while eating and never leave them unattended.
Complications of Choking
Choking is a serious issue that can lead to various complications if not treated promptly. Some of the complications that can occur include:
1. Lack of Oxygen
When an object blocks the airway, it prevents the baby from breathing properly. This can quickly result in a lack of oxygen in the body, which can cause brain damage, seizures, or even death.
2. Throat Injuries
Forceful coughing or attempts to clear the airway can cause injuries to the throat and vocal cords.
If the object becomes lodged in the airway, it can cause irritation and inflammation, leading to infections like pneumonia.
4. Emotional Trauma
Choking can be a traumatic experience, especially for babies. It can cause long-lasting emotional trauma and, in some cases, may even lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
5. Aspiration Pneumonia
If the object blocks the airway, food or liquid can enter the lungs, causing aspiration pneumonia, which is a potentially life-threatening condition.
Therefore, it’s important to remember that even if your baby seems fine after a choking incident, it’s still crucial to seek medical attention. Expert guidance can help evaluate your baby for potential complications and ensure their health and safety.
In conclusion, choking is a common and potentially life-threatening situation for babies. As a new mom, it’s essential to know the basics of first aid and how to respond quickly and calmly. Stay vigilant when feeding your baby, and if an emergency arises, immediately call for help and seek professional guidance. Your quick actions and knowledge can make all the difference in protecting your precious little one.