How should we proceed before a food choke? Most parents DO NOT know what to do and knowing is the difference between life and death.
Deaths like these leave one’s heart crushed. A 5-year-old boy, with all the vitality and a beautiful life ahead of him, in the middle of an accident that could not be avoided. The little boy died at his school when he ate a sausage roll for lunch. Is there a way to prevent food choking?
Theo was 5 years old and was at his school in England, when in the middle of lunch his classmates saw how the boy began to turn blue. According to the media, his teachers, who were trained in health and rescue tasks, tried to revive him and save him before paramedics arrive. But unfortunately, after an hour the little boy lost his life.
In a tribute to the little boy, his mother, painfully moved, said “he was a lovely boy. Everyone will remember his smile.” Mathew Coombe, a science teacher, performed the first aid tasks, and although they couldn’t do anything, the entire school and family will be grateful for the great effort they put into saving Theo.
The paramedic who arrived at the school managed to remove two pieces of food and a large piece of sausage from his airways. However, he said that although he had removed the obstructing food, the young man’s lungs had begun to fill with blood.
Sausages, an imminent danger of suffocation
After the investigations, it was found that the situation was irreversible; as the amount of food trapped under the child’s larynx played a “major role” in Theo’s death, according to the pediatrician who treated him at the Hospital.
Theo’s death was listed as accidental, and the doctors explained that the sausage in particular is a very sticky and soft food and that, unlike a candy, it is very difficult to dislodge from the airways
How to cut the sausage to avoid choking and suffocation
The Children’s Guide site explains why a sausage can kill a child. Normally, we usually cut the sausage into slices to give to the little ones. The circular diameter of a sausage has a size that perfectly matches that of the trachea of a child under three years of age. If the little one does not chew it and stays horizontal, plugging the trachea, in addition to preventing the entry of air, it will have a suction cup effect. I mean, it is very difficult to get that piece of circular sausage out.
Therefore, the way to cut the sausage to avoid suffocation is to cut it into thin slices and crosswise, that is, lengthwise. Once you have the sausage cut lengthwise into two pieces, you can then cut them into smaller pieces.
There are other foods that pose a high risk of choking due to obstruction, but the sausage is at the top of the ranking. As a mother, I have spent it with my daughter. Except that by coughing it expelled it from her windpipe. We were lucky, but the shock was huge.
How to avoid food choking
From the moment they start eating, as parents, the fear that our children will choke on some food is always present. Even if you already have older children and think that they can no longer drown, the risk is still present, so it is essential to adopt a series of measures to avoid going through a bad time. These are the tips, according to the Children’s Guide :
Never cut the sausage into ‘slices’ or circles. Cut it into irregular pieces.
Do not give hard foods that are too small to your child under 3 years old.
Do not give him nuts until he is four years old.
Choose foods that melt easily in your mouth, such as a ‘Maria’ type cookie or stale bread.
Do not give your child hard candy until four years old or ‘sticky’.
Avoid popcorn and gum for the first three years of life.
How to proceed when faced with choking
If any remaining food or foreign object is in the airways of your child or close person, you have very few minutes to act and try to save their life.
These are the steps to follow, according to the Consultations website, in case a person is choking on some food. This maneuver is known as «Heimlich maneuver»
Stand behind the person while you are standing.
Put your arms around the waist: the right hand in the form of a closed fist on the upper part of the abdomen of the affected person (at the level of the pit of the stomach, where the ribs meet), and the left hand taking the fist , wrapping your arms around the base of the thorax.
Compress the abdomen sharply and strongly upward with both hands.
Repeat the maneuver as many times as necessary until the person expels the foreign body from their throat or loses consciousness.
If you lose consciousness, call for emergency help immediately
In children older than one year, the same procedure above is used, but the fist is placed on the child’s navel with the side of the thumb facing the abdomen.
Although fear as parents is always present, it is essential to take the necessary precautions to avoid this type of tragedy as much as possible, just as it is important to educate yourself and be informed about resuscitation maneuvers.