Ingestion In Children: Prevention And First Aid

Children choke frequently and often nothing bad happens, but in some cases this situation can be fatal. It is therefore best to take preventive measures to prevent these types of accidents as much as possible. It is particularly important to look after the child appropriately while eating and playing and to keep certain things out of their reach.

Ingestion in children: prevention and first aid

Statistics show that swallowing  is one of the most common accidents in children and the third leading unnatural cause of death in childhood and in old age. For this reason, it is very important to take preventive measures and, if necessary, to act correctly in serious situations.

Prevention is essential to prevent children from choking and causing serious situations. Because as already mentioned, there is a risk of death. So it is best to eliminate possible risks so that it doesn’t get that far in the first place.

If, despite all precautionary measures, a child chokes,  it is fundamental to know how to act in this situation in order to avoid serious consequences. Simple first aid measures are very important in this case to protect the life of the affected child. Everyone should know these ways to provide help in an emergency.

If children choke

If swallowed, the airways are obstructed by a small foreign body. In the worst case scenario, this blockage is very serious and cuts off the air supply to the lungs, which creates a serious risk of suffocation and can be fatal.

In most cases it affects children under the age of three. Statistics reveal that children between 6 and 12 months in particular often swallow things. Most of the time it is food, with dried fruit or hard candy very often responsible for the serious situation.

Other dangerous foods are meat and sausage products, as well as bones and bones. Because of their shape and texture, sausages are also very dangerous. In general, any solid food or thing that the child puts in their mouth can be dangerous.

Danger to life through swallowing
If a child chokes, a serious situation can arise. The clogging of the airways poses a risk of suffocation. In some cases the child needs to be hospitalized.

Take precautionary measures to prevent ingestion

Since swallowing can lead to serious situations, the outcome of which is unpredictable, it  is best to take appropriate precautions. It should be noted that this usually occurs while eating or playing. It is therefore essential to monitor these activities.

Other preventive measures are:

  • Choose a diet that is age-appropriate and avoid different foods: For example, dried and pitted fruits, such as cherries or plums, should be out of the reach of children unless you are sure they know how to eat these foods.
  • Small objects and toys:  You should move small stones, cubes, batteries, balls or other objects aside so that your child cannot access them. Particular caution is required with balloons and similar toys, as this material can quickly clog the airways.
  • Rules while eating:  children should sit at the table and not eat lying down; not even while they are playing or running around. You also need to teach them to chew properly.
  • Avoid necklaces:  Small children should never wear necklaces, especially necklaces with small balls or pearls.

What to do if children choke

What to do if children choke
The Heimlich handle can save lives if a child chokes and needs quick help.

If all the precautionary measures don’t work and your child still chokes, it is  important to keep calm. Because this way you can quickly assess the situation and know what to do. Usually, the child will first cough, talk, or start crying.

If the child coughs, encourage them to keep trying. Improper intervention can, in part, cause the foreign body to move and be more difficult to remove. You shouldn’t pat the child on the back, put pressure on their stomach, or give them anything to drink.

If the cough is unsuccessful,  call ambulance and then do the following:

  • Have the child stand and bend their head forward.
  • Pass one arm under the child’s armpit and hold the chest with one hand.
  • With the other hand, tap the upper back between the shoulder blades. Use the inside of your palm for this. It shouldn’t be more than five short beats.

The Heimlich handle can help

If the child does not expel the swallowed object,  you can perform the Heimlich handle up to five times in a row. This is done as follows:

  • You stand behind the child and embrace  the upper abdomen with your arms.
  • Form a fist with one hand and place it below the ribs and breastbone in the pit of the stomach (above the belly button).
  • Cover your fist with the other hand and push back and up with force and jerks.
  • If the child is conscious,  you can repeat this 30 times, followed by two insufflations of air into the child’s mouth while holding their nose. Do this until help comes.

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