So this evening I had a bit of a fright...
After school the boys came home and did their chores, then played happily until swimming time. I took them and they happily played in the lesson as it was the last one before the Easter holidays - also they were in their pyjamas for half of it which they found highly amusing - and then it was shower, change and home for tea.
As it is so warm and they have a lovely hot meal in school everyday I decided to do them a picnic of sorts on the front room rug - ham and cheese rolls, yoghurt, grapes, crisps and a chocolate biscuit for being so good in swimming. This all seemed fine and nothing was untoward until Michael half way through his tea, jumped up from the floor and made a horrid gasping growling type noise and tied to run for the stairs, I called him back and as he tuned to me his face was completely purple, he grabbed at his throat and I realised he was choking, and couldn't breathe.
Now luckily for me I worked for a few years with my local council doing safe cycling, and we attended two yearly events called 'Top Drive' for colleges and 'Crucial Crew' for primary school leavers - at these events we worked with all the emergency services to show children/adults how to react in different emergency scenarios - well apparently some of this stuck.
I remembered immediately (I could actually see the lovely paramedic Bryn showing us) that I needed to gab Michael on his chest with one arm and hit his back with the other in-between his shoulder blades to dislodge the blockage, well to hits and it was out - in fact it shot across the room. Michael then un-fazed stood and promptly ate the roll he had just spat up - I know I know, gross - and I cuddled him with all my might. He's fine now but gosh, what if I had had no idea what to do? it could of been much worse!
I thought I would take just five minutes and make you aware of this life saving technique - I think it is something, as parents, neighbours, friends and family we should all know!
For the gorgeous itty bitty babies under one years old:
1. If baby can't breath, cough or cry - then this is a severe case ans you need to act quickly.
2. Check baby's airway, if you can see the obstruction then remove it, if not or it is too firmly lodged then you must proceed with back blows and chest thrusts.
3. Lay baby face down along your forearm toward the palm of your hand.
4. Lower your arm so that baby's head is lower than their bottom.
5. Support baby's head by holding their jaw with the arm/hand they are resting on, using your thumb and forefinger.
6. Give a back blow (hit) using the heel of your hand (the bottom by the wrist) to baby between the shoulder blades.
7. Glance at the baby's mouth to check for easily removable objects.
8. Give up to five back blows to dislodge the obstruction.
9. If the blockage still hasn't moved then turn baby face-up with baby's head lower than it's bottom.
10. Place your index and middle fingers in the middle of baby's chest just below the nipples and push inwards and upwards towards the head.
11. You can do up to five chest thrusts to try and dislodge the blockage.
12. If the blockage still hasn't moved repeat a two further cycles of five back blows and five chest thrusts and then call 999.
13. Continue with cycles of five back blows and five chest thrusts of each until the blockage clears or until emergency help arrives.
14. If the baby looses conciousness then begin the CPR sequence.
15. If you gave baby chest thrusts you must have them checked over by a doctor afterwards as there is a small chance of internal damage.
For the over ones up to the lovely stage of adolescence:
2. Bend the child forwards and pace one hand on its chest under it's arm.
3. Use the other arm to give up to five sharp blows with the heel of your hand between the shoulder blades.
4. Check the mouth for any dislodged objects.
5.If the child is still choking it is time to give abdominal thrusts.
6. Place a clenched fist above the belly button.
7. Grab your fist with the other hand and pull inwards and upwards up to five times.
8. Check the mouth for dislodged objects.
9. If unsuccessful then repeat the cycle three times of five back blows and five chest thrusts, checking the mouth after each cycle.
10. Call 999 for an ambulance if this process has not worked.
11. Repeat the cycle of back blows and chest thrusts until emergency help arrives.
12. If the child looses conciousness then begin the CPR sequence.
For us larger than life people, aka adults:
1. Hit the adult firmly in the back with the heel of your hand.
2. If this fails to dislodge the object then it's time to give the Heimlich Manoeuvres.
3. Make a fist and place on the adults stomach just above the belly button.
4. Grasp the fist with the other hand and proceed to pull sharply inwards and upwards.
5. If this fails to work then phone 999 and continue with cycles of five back blows and abdominal thrusts until emergency help arrives.
6. If the adult looses consciousness then begin the CPR sequence.
I have double checked all this information and have found that the Red Cross website offers invaluable tips, videos and question and answer sections on choking and other first aid that we should all be aware of.
If you have the opportunity I would recommend taking a first aid class for babies/children/adults as it could help to save someone's life. You should be able to find all the details you need through your local council, health board, doctor or health visitor.
Right off I go again :) Thanks for reading and I hope you have found this helpful!