Choking is one of the most common causes of death in small babies. The very inquisitive nature of the babies, exploring and testing their surroundings as they crawl exposes them to various choking hazards. On their expedition in the home or in the garden, they tend to pick up small things, poke at them, put them in their mouth, taste, feel and ultimately swallow them. Continue reading to know Hazards, Symptoms, Prevention And First Aid For Infant Choking.
This poses a very dangerous situation, considering what is being swallowed and secondly, if it gets stuck in the throat it hampers breathing and obstructs oxygen flow. So what exactly is choking, how to identify and prevent choking incidents? Read below to know more about infant choking.
What Is Infant Choking?
The Common Causes Of Infant Choking
What Are The Symptoms That My Baby Is Choking?
Common Infant Choking Hazards
Why Does My Baby Choke While Breastfeeding?
Bottle-fed Baby Choking
How To Prevent Infant Choking?
Infant Choking First Aid
Choking technically implies that the windpipe has been blocked and is causing difficulty in breathing. Your throat consists of two pipes:
The food and drink that we intake goes down the food pipe to the stomach. The air/oxygen we take in goes through the wind pipe to the lungs. Choking is a result of an object of food getting stuck in the trachea, blocking the airway thus making it difficult to breathe. Babies are more vulnerable to choking because they have small airways which can easily get obstructed; though most often, the food or object partially blocks the trachea, and is coughed out. The smart mechanism of your body regulates that food goes down the food pipe only by means of epiglottis.
If small food particles or water droplets slip to the wind pipe, then this causes coughing. Coughing is the body’s immediate response to expel the foreign particles from the incorrect pipe. If coughing fails, then the oxygen cannot pass down completely or in sufficient quantity from windpipe to the lungs, causing breathing difficulties. This results in choking. Sometimes, developmental delays, swallowing difficulties or neuromuscular disorders or injuries can also cause choking. Continue reading to know Hazards, Symptoms, Prevention And First Aid For Infant Choking.
Food, as is obvious, is the most common reason of infant choking. Other than food, small objects like buttons, parts of toys, cloth or accessory embellishments, and distraction during feeding can result in infant choking. As parents, you will need to pay special attention to the following to protect your kids from choking:
A child could have swallowed something and may be choking if the following symptoms are observed:
If the oxygen and blood supply to the heart and brain is obstructed just even for 4 minutes may cause severe damages and even death. In small babies, this can cause serious respiratory emergencies and even heart attack. Therefore this condition requires vigilance and immediate remedy.
Whatever you do, you may never be able to childproof your house completely. You must, however, put in a good effort by getting down on your knees, literally, and look around the house from a child’s perspective. Babies are known to go places which adults never thought existed. Do keep a keen eye for the below objects:
Oversupply of milk or an incorrect feeding posture may lead infants to choke while breastfeeding as their small mouths cannot handle a lot of milk in one go. An overactive letdown reflex, alongwith a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, can lead to your little one choke, gag, gulp or gasp while breastfeeding. The way to deal with this is to regulate the supply to your baby’s needs. You can also try other positions, and ensure that latching is correct. You can also express some milk before putting your baby to your breast to ease the letdown.
If your baby struggles to find breath during bottle-feeding, you need to ensure that you are feeding him properly. Always attach a nipple recommended for your baby’s age. Make sure your baby’s head is slightly elevated when you bottle feed him. If the baby tilts his head, pull out the nipple and adjust the head before resuming the feeding. Always allow the nipple to fill with milk first before your baby takes it in his mouth. Hold the bottle at a right angled position. If you observe your baby gagging or gulping, the nipple flow is probably more than he can handle. You will have to change the nipple with the one that flows at a proper rate. Sit your baby up, allowing him to swallow the milk and breathe normally before resuming feeding. Never overfeed the baby if he stops sucking, spits, or forces the nipple out. Forcing the baby drink more milk than he wants can also result in choking.
Whether it is a baby, a toddler or a school going child, you need to ensure safety of highest standards for your little wonders. As parents you must:
Continue reading to know Hazards, Symptoms, Prevention And First Aid For Infant Choking. We really hope that you never have to be in this situation. However, in the event your little one does happen to choke, the below first aid must be administered to the child. Also, click here to find out what to do when your child is choking.
After you have thoroughly assessed the situation, you can do take the following steps-
Hope the article on Hazards, Symptoms, Prevention And First Aid For Infant Choking is helpful. Choking can be prevented by storing things smartly when you have an infant in the house. Follow all the preventive measures. Being closely involved with your baby during his play and meal time will also strengthen the mother-child bond as well as allow you to keep an eye on him. It’s a good idea to learn how to perform CPR as well as teach other caregivers too. Find out 5 Common Toddler Emergencies And Ways To Handle Them here.
Read Also: CPR in Babies: Steps And Precautions