Choking Hazard Reminder

Choking hazards come as a result of poorly labelled products, substandard materials, production of toys and gadgets. According to studies, the rates of choking are higher among children under one year. From food to small coins and broken pieces of toys, the risks are higher all the more in the presence of defective products.

Detecting A Choking Hazard

Children, although having ingested a choking material, may still be able to speak, cough and breathe, if their airway is only partially blocked. Here are the symptoms of a partially blocked airway:

  • Inability to talk in complete sentences or at full volume

  • Panicked and distressed behaviour

  • Unusual breathing sounds, such as wheezing or whistling

  • Frantic coughing

  • Clutching at the throat

  • Red face

  • Watery eyes

If the airway is completely blocked, the following symptoms would be present:  premise liability

  • Clutching at the throat

  • Panicked and distressed behaviour, including vigorous attempts to breathe

  • Red face at first, turning pale and then blue due to lack of oxygen (cyanosis)

  • Watery eyes

  • Unconsciousness and collapse

What to do when your child chokes

Check for breathing

Chances are, if the child is still able to breathe (such as the case in a partially blocked airway), he can still speak and cough. Try to encourage the child to cough; this may force the material out of the throat.

Do not hit the back at first

The throat is a complex structure. Patting hard on the child’s back may cause the material to move to a more dangerous position or block other pathways that can stop breathing

Stay and monitor breathing

See if the child’s breathing improves. If it does, see the first point and try to have the child cough. However, if breathing does not improve, call 911 immediately.

Put the head below the chest

If the child is unable to breathe, place the child’s head by your lap so the head is lower than the chest. At this point, give the child four sharp taps on the back, between the shoulder blades. This force may help dislodge the object.

Preventing choking

In all things, prevention is the key. Listed below are some recommendations to prevent the occurrence of choking:

  • Avoid foods that can be broken down into hard, smaller pieces such as carrots, celery sticks and apples. These should be grated, cooked or mashed to avoid being stuck in the throat

  • Cut meat into smaller pieces. Skin should be removed.

  • Do not give hard candy such as lollipops, popcorn, nuts and corn chips.

  • Check around the house to see any loose or scattered materials that the child can pick up and swallow. These include coins, pen caps, and parts of broken toys.

  • Keep away toys that have small, breakable parts that a child can swallow.

  • Attend first aid seminars that teach how to administer Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

Don’t let your child’s suffering go unnoticed. Reach out to The Loewy Law Firm for a discussion on your rights.