BEING vigilant about choking hazards is part and parcel of being a parent.
Most will know to supervise their tots when they're eating and are on high alert in case they put anything in their mouths.
But many might not understand the devastating reality of what it means for your child to choke on something and how quickly it can affect the rest of their body.
A new video put together by the medics behind Tiny Hearts Education shows how crucial it is to act quickly if your child chokes on a piece of food or an object.
In a recent post to their Instagram page, the baby and child first aid experts emphasised that "chocking is an emergency".
"Every second counts and the sooner you can act, the better the outcomes for your child," they wrote.
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An accompanying clip illustrated what happens minute-by-minute as a child chokes.
When someone is choking, it means that the oxygen supply to the lungs is obstructed, the first aiders explained.
This in turn cuts off the supply of oxygen to the brain.
The lack of oxygen to the brain has widespread ramifications for the rest of the body, which become more serious with every minute.
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If your child doesn't receive oxygen to their brain for one to three minutes, they'll lose consciousness, Tiny Hearts education explained.
After three minutes, the neurons in their brain will get damaged.
Permanent brain damage becomes much more likely after four minutes of your tot not being able to breathe.
And death could be imminent if your little one has something blocking their airway for more than five minutes.
After 10 minutes, the medics said your child could slip into a coma and lasting brain damage becomes 'almost inevitable' if their brain is still alive.
Survival becomes 'almost impossible' after 15 minutes.
This is why it's imperative that parents learn choking first aid, Tiny Hearts stressed.
First aiders have previously shared three major mistakes parents make when their child is choking, including sticking their fingers down their throat to dislodge whatever is stopping them from breathing.
They've also flagged 24 objects your likely have scattered around your home that you might not realise are choking hazards.
What to do if your child chokes
IF your child chokes, don’t panic and freeze immediately.
The NHS says if the child is coughing, encourage them to continue as they may be able to bring the object up. Don't leave them alone while this is happening.
But if their coughing is silent, they can't breathe properly or they don't bring anything up, get help immediately.
Use back blows on your tot if they're still conscious.
First aiders at St John Ambulance give the following advice based on the child’s age.
- Slap it out:
- Lay the baby face down along your thigh and support their head
- Give five back blows between their shoulder blades
- Turn them over and check their mouth each time
2. Squeeze it out:
- Turn the baby over, face upwards, supported along your thigh
- Put two fingers in the centre of their chest just below the nipple line; push downwards to give up to five sharp chest thrusts
- Check the mouth each time
3. If the item does not dislodge, call 999 or 112 for emergency help
- Take the baby with you to call
- Repeat the steps 1 and 2 until help arrives
- Start CPR if the baby becomes unresponsive (unconscious)
1. Cough it out
- Encourage the casualty to keep coughing, if they can
2. Slap it out
- Lean them forwards, supporting them with one hand
- Give five sharp back blows between the shoulder blades
- Check their mouth each time but do not put your fingers in their mouth
3. Squeeze it out
- Stand behind them with your arms around their waist, with one clenched fist between their belly button and the bottom of their chest
- Grasp the fist in the other hand and pull sharply inwards and upwards, giving up to five abdominal thrusts
- Check their mouth each time
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