There are many scary things about being a parent, and a choking baby is at the top of the list. It can happen easily and quickly, and when a baby is choking, there is only a short window of time in which to restore air to the baby’s airways. Here are the steps you should practice and memorize in case you must use them someday.
Do Not Panic
The very first step is to stay calm. This needs to be its own step because if you are panicking, you will be no help to your choking baby. Your mind must be clear in order to remember what to do, and do it effectively. Once you have removed the object your baby is choking on, you will have time to react to the fear and adrenaline.
If your baby is unable to cry, cough, or make any sounds, or if he is turning blue, you know that he is not breathing. If you are not alone, call out for someone to call 911. If you are alone with your choking baby, take the baby to the phone, and using speaker phone if available, call 911 yourself.
Try to Dislodge The Object
Once help is on the way, place your finger in your baby’s mouth and try to dislodge the object. If this does not help, flip your choking baby onto his belly on your arm, holding the head toward the floor. Gravity may play a part in helping dislodge the object. If the object stays in place, deliver five firm blows to the center of the baby’s back, between his shoulder blades. If this does not help, turn your choking baby over on his back and do the same to his chest; the compression may release the object.
Even if your actions seem ineffective, and your baby is still not crying or coughing, indication that your baby is choking still, try to place your finger in your baby’s throat again to dislodge the object. There is a chance that your efforts have moved the object and possibly made it more accessible.
Mouth to Mouth
If none of your efforts have helped, you can try mouth to mouth resuscitation, in which you would place your mouth over that of your choking baby and breath into his mouth. The force of your breath may move the object, or may at least get a little bit of air into his airwaves while you wait for help.
Truly the best way to keep your baby safe from dangers like these is to take a class in CPR. You will learn strategies that may prove irreplaceable in the case that your baby is in danger. The class takes only a finite period of time, and when it is over, you will have the tools necessary to keep your baby safe from a number of hazards. A choking baby can be a very scary thing, but the incident can end happily if you act quickly and you are prepared.