Handle Choking
Photo by Vlada Karpovich: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-gray-sweater-sitting-beside-woman-5790716/

Are you aware of the dangers of choking? Choking is potentially fatal if not treated immediately and correctly. It can happen to anyone, even you. So it is essential to know what to do when this incident happens.

In this article, you’ll learn some essential things about choking that can help you in times of emergency.

Know the Difference Between Coughing and Choking

Choking is when someone can’t breathe. It’s a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. While coughing is just a regular part of life—and it can sometimes cause choking, too—choking is generally a symptom of an underlying medical problem.

You expect your throat to clear out the stuff you’ve been breathing in when you cough. But what if you choke? What happens, then?

Choking differs from coughing because it’s not an active process—instead, you’re doing nothing to cause it. You might find yourself choking when:

  • You’re eating or drinking something too large for your mouth (such as a whole grapefruit) and inhaling it too quickly.
  • You’ve accidentally swallowed something too big for your throat (like a pacifier).

Standard Ways to Help Someone Who Is Choking

Choking is a life-threatening emergency that can happen to anyone at any time. The most common cause of choking is food or liquid lodged in the windpipe, which cuts off air to your lungs.

If you see someone choking, don’t panic. Instead, stay calm and think about what you can do to help. You may even want to know efaw qualification and take emergency first aid training. You can find courses online that will teach you basic knowledge about saving someone from choking.

If you’re close enough to the person choking, you may be able to use your hands to perform a Heimlich maneuver. It involves grabbing their shoulders and pulling them back while thrusting up on your knees until they can clear their airway. Don’t try this unless you have been trained in first aid.

If the person is too far away or unable to reach you with their hands, you must find someone else to help. Call the emergency hotline and ask for medical assistance as soon as possible.

What Are the First Aid Skills Needed for Helping a Choking Victim?

If you are in an emergency where someone is choking, you should know what to do first. There are many different methods of helping someone who is choking. Here are some of the most critical skills needed for first aid:

  • Stay calm and quiet so you don’t interfere with the person’s breathing.
  • Make sure the person at risk of choking has no food or other items in their mouth; remove them if possible.
  • Only try to remove any object if you are trained and certified in this rescue technique (some people will attempt such attempts without this training). If an object has become lodged in someone’s throat and cannot be removed, use a finger sweep technique to dislodge it from their throat or chest. Keep trying to remove an object from someone’s airway until you have trained how best to do so.

How to Prevent Choking Accidents (especially to children)

While many parents do not worry much about choking hazards when introducing their children to new foods, some foods pose a choking risk.

There are several ways to prevent choking accidents from occurring. Here are some tips:

  • Teach your child how to chew correctly: Small bites, slow chewing, and not swallowing food whole. 
  • Eat at the table: If your child is eating at the table, make sure they do not put their food into their mouth with their hands. It makes it easier for them to choke on something they shouldn’t be putting in their mouth in the first place.
  • Be careful when choosing toys for your child: Toys should also be safe for young children and adults who may put them in their mouths without thinking twice about it.
  • When cleaning up after meals or snacks, supervise your child carefully so that if they accidentally swallow something dangerous by mistake (like a toy), you can help them immediately without causing any harm yourself.

Final Thoughts

Overall, if someone is choking, do not panic. Attempt to speak to them and assess their response. 

If they are conscious, they should calm down and be able to cough up the obstruction naturally. But if they are not conscious, you will need to take action immediately and bring them to the emergency.