Choking can happen–swiftly and silently–at any time. In some cases, parents are able to rescue their little ones just in time, but sadly for some, it ends in tragedy.
Choking is the fourth leading cause of accidental deaths worldwide, so it’s important for us to always guard against it.
There are the common hazards like food, or even a child’s own vomit, but there are some choking hazards that are unusual but no less dangerous.
Here are some examples, based on actual cases shared by parents.
This plastic toy, which was created for those with ADHD and autism, has grown in popularity. Unfortunately, though the intention for its production was to help those who struggled with the condition, it’s become a hazard.
Just recently, a 10-year-old girl from Texas nearly died when she started choking on a part of her fidget spinner, which she swallowed accidentally. Thankful that they got to help in time, the girl’s mom, Kelly Rose Joniec, shared how terrifying it was for her at first as the object’s shape proved to be a challenge for doctors to remove.
Though they are commonly used, they often come with accessories (such as strings and beads) that are unnecessary and even, in some cases, dangerous.
Just this year, a 16-month-old baby boy from Malaysia choked on his pacifier strap and died. According to reports, the baby had tried to climb out of his cradle. His devastated mom found him strangulated, hanging from the side of his cradle. Though he was rushed to the hospital, he could no longer be saved.
It’s important to make sure that the baby items you buy are age appropriate. A mom from Scotland had to learn this the hard way when her precious 14-week-old baby girl was suffocated by her own headband. According to a friend who shared the tragedy on Facebook as a warning to all moms, the large headband slipped down the baby’s head while sleeping in her mother’s arms, covering her nose and mouth until she could no longer breathe.
What’s meant to nourish could also be dangerous, as babies can choke on their mom’s milk. Take, for instance, the case of Rebecca Taylor, whose baby nearly choked to death due to an overproduction of milk or what is known as forceful letdown. She recounted her terrifying experience in a Facebook post, warning other breastfeeding moms of the dangers of overactive milk supply. Good thing her baby was saved just in time! To avoid it from happening again, Rebecca vowed to be more careful with her positioning during feeding to slow down milk flow.
Just recently, a line of onesies was recalled by a popular brand, due to its design, which came with a detachable part many deemed to be a choking hazard. Though no injuries have been reported, it has managed to raise awareness among parents worldwide that even inane objects, or parts of clothing we rarely notice can pose serious threats and should not be taken lightly.
What do if your child is choking
First, don’t panic and act quickly. Let your parental instincts kick into high gear, setting aside fear and maintaining presence of mind.
If he is trying to cough, let him
Once you see your baby gagging or trying to cough, let him do so as this is one of the most effective way to expel whatever is partially blocking his airway.
If he is unable to cough or is silent, do first aid, as demonstrated by the video below.
Remember: Don’t try to remove it with your hands
Peek into your little one’s mouth to see if the obstruction is visible, but avoid feeling around for it with your hands, as it might cause the blockage to dislodge and pushed further down your child’s throat.
Call for help or rush to the hospital
If your first aid efforts don’t seem to be working, call emergency hotline 911, or if you live near a hospital it’s best to immediately bring your child there instead of waiting for help to arrive.
READ: Dog alerts ‘tired’ mom about toddler choking in the other room
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