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Choking is a constant danger for young children. Young children have a tendency to put small objects into their mouths. Some items can be easily swallowed and stuck in their windpipe. The following advice should be considered:
- Always cut up food into small pieces.
- Do not allow your child to play or run around while eating.
- Avoid peanuts and small hard sweets.
- Do not allow your younger children to play with coins, marbles, small items, safety pins,tacks or any sharp object. Even a pencil can stab or damage an eye.
- Do not give young children very small parts of toys or objects that are smaller than 5 cms in diameter or 7 cms long.
- Take the time to check for dangers in the areas where your children are playing.
- Avoid leaving any cords, string or ties around a child which could strangle.
- Teach older children to keep these articles away from a smaller child.
What to do in an emergency
A child with a serious obstruction will not be able to speak, cough or breath and will lose consciousness. Try to remove the cause of the obstruction and telephone for an ambulance.
- Take care to avoid pushing the object further down the child's throat if attempting to remove it with your fingers.
- Lay a bay face down, supporting the head and body, and slap the baby's back using the heel of your hand to remove the article causing the obstruction.
- If this fails hold the baby on its back and smack the baby's chest with your two index fingers against the breast bone, an inch just below the line of the nipples, pushing up towards the head, whilst checking the mouth.
- Slap the child on the back several times using the heel of your hand.
- If this fails, hold the child from behind with your clenched fist held between the navel and the breast bone, thrusting inwards and upwards, checking the mouth each time.
The New “Fainting Game”
In America recently a 13-year-old died from asphyxiation by hanging as a result of playing a new fashionable game amongst young teenagers called “the fainting game” or the “pass out game”, also known as the “Choking Game”, “American Knockout”, “Space Monkey” to “California Dreaming”.
The point of this new fashionable trend is to cause a head rush by cutting off the flow of oxygen to the brain by using string, cord or a belt around the neck for a short time. As a consequnce more teenagers are going to die if allowed to continue with this new insane craze.
Parents should be made aware of this new “game” and the dangers.
- Inexplicable marks or bruises on the throat.
- Frequent, severe headaches.
- Redness of the eyes.
- Belts, animal collars or leads, ropes, shoelaces tied in strange knots or found in unusual places.
- Unexplained cuts or bruises from falling.
- Disorientation after spending time alone.
- Locked bedroom doors, which should always be viewed as suspicious.