The dangers and warnings of child choking injuries


At least one child dies from choking on food every five days in the US.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), more than 12,000 children are taken to a hospital emergency room each year for choking injuries.

It's important to know what to do if your child gets something lodged in their throat.

Emily Parker, a mother of two, takes her daughters to their favorite diner for dinner.

While this working mom has had training to deal with choking, it's still a concern.

Choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death in children under five.

"You could turn your back for a minute, and your child's blue and not breathing and that's terrifying," said Emily.

We went to the experts for a brief lesson on what to do for a choking baby.

"A baby that can get air in should also be able to cry or make some sort of noise," said Rebecca Bradley, RN, BSN.

The nurses say if an infant can't cry, cough or breathe, you need to take action.

"You are going to do five forward thrusts, pretty firm, then you are going to flip the baby over, securing the neck, and then you are going to push on the breast bone five times."

Food is the main reason for choking.

"With a hot dog, a lot of times people will just cut it, and you have this perfect airway cutter offer."

The nurses advise people to cur things like fruit, or hot dogs into small pieces for kids.

"Is it going to get caught in their throat? How small do you need to cut it up," said Emily.

A child's windpipe is smaller than a toilet paper roll and an infant's more like a straw.

Families are urged to baby proof their homes, watching for items like coins, earbuds and small toys.

"I think if you are always questioning or thinking about what could this kiddo get into and actually eat and potentially choke on, you are going to keep everyone that much safer," said Bradley.

The AAP says to never let a child run, play or lie down while eating.

And carefully read warning labels on toys before giving them to young children.

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