A nightmare for every parent is to see his baby choking and not knowing what to do to help. The first prevention is putting smaller objects, coins, and some food like nuts far from the child’s eye. Babies tend to put smaller objects in their mouths, and the worst-case scenario is the choking.
So what should you do when your efforts to avoid situations like this one are for naught, and your baby is choking?
As a parent or future parent, you should know how to react in these emergencies, and that is why we give you these instructions on how to save a baby from choking.
Newborn First Aid –Save a baby from Choking
Step 1: Evaluate the situation.
• Listen very carefully if the baby is making different noises than usual while opening the mouth (gagging, coughing, wheezing, or choking sounds). If he/she does that, then it is very probable that some object partly impedes his/her breathing.
• In cases when the infant is silent, open-mouthed, and his face color changes to red, blue, or purple, his breathing is likely completely blocked. In both cases, the baby needs help immediately to begin breathing properly again.
Remember that if the infant is coughing hard or is crying loudly, he may be able to remove the object by using the coughing reflex. Nevertheless, if the baby appears to be choking and the cough is barely present or not present at all, you should make rescue attempts.
Step 2: Try to clear the object from the baby’s airway Blows to the back.
1. You should place your non-dominant forearm palm (you are in a sitting position) up along the top of the thigh.
2. Lay the baby face down along your forearm; his/her belly should be along your arm, and with your hand, support his jaw.
Remember that while you are doing this, the child’s head must be lower than the rest of his body.
3. Strike the infant firmly between the shoulder blades five times by using your dominant hand.
If the action above doesn’t help to remove the object from the infant’s airway, turn him over and start abdominal pushes.
To do this correctly, lay the child on your lap and hold his head with your non-dominant hand.
1. Remember that baby’s head should be lower than the rest of his body.
2. Use two fingers of your dominant hand and place them in the center of the infant’s chest, just below his/her nipples.
3. Press down 1/2 inches and repeat this thrust 5 times.
4. Repeat this cycle of five strikes to the back and five abdominal thrusts until the object is removed from the baby’s airway.
Step 3: If dislodging attempts fail, initiate CPR only if the dislodging attempts are unsuccessful
Suppose these attempts are unsuccessful, and the object is still in the airway. In that case, the child may become unconscious, call the emergency number immediately, and imitate baby CPR, which is described below.
step1: First, perform further evaluation of the infant child.
• First, check if there are some injuries or bleeding.
• If there is bleeding, you mustn’t perform CPR until the blood flow has been stopped, and you can do that by applying pressure.
• Tap the child’s foot to check for consciousness
• Check if the object in the mouth is visible and if it is, remove it with your finger.
• Perform CPR if the child is unresponsive.
Start by putting the baby on a firm surface.
Step 2: Open the air passage
1. To open the air passage, you should bend the baby’s head back with one hand and lift his chin with the other one.
2. Wait no more than 10 sec. to check if there are signs of breathing.
3. Watch the chest see if there are signs for rising and falling and listen to the child’s mouth for breathing sounds.
If there aren’t signs for breathing, move to the next step.
Step 3: Perform mouth-to-mouth
1. The first step is to cover the child’s mouth and nose with your mouth. Start to breathe very gently into the child’s lungs, and by doing this, you will notice how his chest is rising and falling with your breaths.
2. If there is no chest movement, bend his head slightly to the side and perform mouth to mouth once again.
3. Repeat these breaths twice, and if there isn’t a change in the baby’s consciousness, perform chest compressions.
Step 4: Performing chest compressions
• Start by placing two fingers (the first and the second one) in the center of the baby’s chest, as described in the performance of the abdominal thrusts section.
• Compress down 1/2 inches 30 times by keeping a rate of 100 compressions per minute.
• Each cycle of mouth to mouth and the compressions shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds.
Step 5: Continue to perform these to cycles (mouth-to-mouth and chest compressions) until the help arrives.
Even if the baby is breathing properly and its condition is back to normal with the object removed from the airway, you should still seek medical interventions because there might be some internal injuries.