It is vital that you learn basic first-aid so when things happen, you are prepared thereby increasing your chances of survival. You do not learn first-aid for yourself only but people around you can benefit from it. So, when you hear first aid training courses here in Singapore, you have to enrol right away. Make sure that you learn the Heimlich Maneuver as well as CPR from certified first-aid responders because you can use it in case of severe choking.
What if in this case you encounter a choking infant? Choking may sound harmless but it is the other way around especially if it happens to infants younger than one year old. Choking is actually a serious one because it happens when foreign object is lodged in the windpipe or throat. This will make breathing hard (because of the blockage). You already know what happens when the oxygen is cut off to the brain. You do not want this to happen to the infant.
When you see an infant choking, it is crucial that you perform first-aid without delay. Your goal would be to clear the airway of the infant right away for breathing to resume. Here’s a refresher:
You have to be seated while holding the infant. Make sure he/she is facing down on your forearm and resting on the thighs.
Infants are very fragile and sometimes it is scary just to hold them. This is not the time to be scared because his/her life depends on you. After ensuring the proper position, you can begin to thump the middle back of the infant – gently. Thumping should only be done using your hand’s heel. Gravity plus back blows are enough to dislodge the foreign object.
If back blows do not work, you have to try chest thrusts. Hold the infant facing up on your forearm. Using your two fingers, locate the center of his/her breastbone and then do chest compressions at least five times.
If back blows and chest thrusts do not work, combine the two and repeat it until breathing resumes.
If the infant is older than one year old, you can only perform abdominal thrusts. Do not overdo it because infants body are fragile and you do not want to break any bone or cause any pain/discomfort. While you try to perform first-aid, call other people around and tell them to call for ambulance. Here in Singapore, responders here are quick as long as you place the call.