The time when your baby graduates from only breast milk to other forms of food is quite crucial. Not only is this a big step in baby’s growth, it is also time for you to start being extra cautious at meal times.
It is important to ensure that all meal times are supervised by an adult, whether it is only liquids or solids. Also, as your baby starts getting more mobile, they start putting everything in their mouth. This is when the dangers of choking are most common.
Why Are Babies So Susceptible To Choking?
Choking is a common incident amongst babies that can sometimes even lead to death in certain situations. This is mainly because babies have tiny airways which get easily blocked.
Common Reasons For Baby Choking:
- Babies take some time to learn the abilities to swallow and chew food. Some babies might not be able to expel out the dislodged food forcefully from an airway blockage.
- Infants like to explore their environment. They put everything in their mouth and is the ma
- Food is one of the causes of choking in infants. Bigger food bites or distraction while eating can commonly lead to choking infant.
- Another very common incidence when this can happen is if they slip under water in a bathtub or pool. They may choke around curtains or drawstrings.
- At times, health conditions can also be the reason behind choking in infants. Babies who suffer from neuromuscular disorders, swallowing disorders, traumatic brain injury and developmental delays have increased risks of choking as compared to others.
Safety Concerns For Preventing Choking At Home:
While you will supervise baby and try avoid this as much as you can, sometimes, babies still end up choking. You must be aware about some of the simple methods to prevent your baby from choking.
Here are a few methods that will prevent choking in babies:
1. Introduce Solid Foods At Proper Time:
It is best to introduce solid foods to your baby when they develop the motor skills to swallow the food. You must wait till your baby reaches 6 months before introducing pureed and solid foods.
2. Avoid High Risk Foods:
In some families, parents feed small bites of whatever they are eating to their babies. This can be dangerous.
- Infants and babies should not be given chunks of cheese or meat, hot dogs, raw vegetables, grapes, oranges, etc.
- Hard foods like nuts, seeds, hard candies and popcorn should be kept away from babies.
- Some other foods which must be given the slip include marshmallows, peanut butter and chewing gum.
- The rule to remember is that those foods which can’t be changed into safer form for the kids to swallow should be avoided.
3. Mealtime Should Be Administered:
When your baby is getting older, allow him to sit at one place and eat.
- Running or walking while eating is not good for baby as baby will not eat to his fullest need.
- Also, remind him to chew his morsel properly and then swallow.
- Forbade him to stuff big amounts of food into his mouth as it can lead to choking.
4. Pick Toys Carefully For Your Baby:
Always choose toys according to the age of your baby.
- Keep away latex balloon from infants as it can be hazardous while it is torn or in un-inflated form.
- Some small objects such as small toys, marbles, small balls and toys for older kids should be kept away from babies.
5. Keep Risky Objects Out Of Reach:
Risky objects may include household objects like button batteries, pens, coins etc. Babies can swallow them and can suffer from choking.
How To Prevent Baby From Choking?
The life-saving techniques discussed here to deal with choking in babies are termed Heimlich maneuver and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). These techniques are discussed in the following steps. While these are emergency steps, we recommend calling for medical assistance immediately and performing these while waiting or on your way to a doctor.
Follow the given steps carefully to save your baby’s life during any incident of choking:
- Lay your baby facing down with head lower than his bottom body.
- Gently provide support to his shoulders and head.
- Now, with the heel of your hand, gently give 4 to 5 back blows between the shoulder blades.
- Check if there is something he ingested in his mouth and remove that obstruction with your finger.
- If the object is still inside his mouth and not coming out, then lay your baby in your arms on his back.
- Using your two fingers, gently give 4 to 5 chest thrusts in the middle of the chest, pushing upwards and inwards.
- Keep checking in his mouth quickly after every thrust if the object is cleared off.
- If it is still there after repeating 3 cycles of chest thrusts and back blows, dial for an ambulance and contact the doctor.
- Continue giving thrusts and resuscitate if required.