They Laughed Themselves To Death - Choking in Children April 20, 2016 14:33

Children find plenty of reasons to laugh as they go about their day. Funny cartoons, playing with toys and being amazed at the world around them get constant giggles from children. However, if they're eating, a fit of laughter can also carry the risk of choking. Children younger than five face considerable risk from choking, although tragedy has the potential to strike at any age. A child dies of choking every five days, but you can help prevent these tragedies by understanding the choking hazards facing children, as well as common objects children choke on and the right way to help a choking child.

Why Do Children Choke?

Kids face several disadvantages when it comes to choking. For one, their windpipes are much smaller than an adult's. An object causing a partial obstruction in a teenager or adult can completely block the child's trachea. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers may also lack proper coordination and eating techniques, which further increases their risk. An unattended or distracted child may swallow more than they intend while laughing, which can quickly lead to a fatal situation. If they're rushing their meal to get back to a fun activity, kids may attempt to eat larger pieces than their bodies can handle or fail to drink enough liquid during their snack.

What Do Children Choke On?

Food ranks at the top of the children choking list. Favorite kid foods such as hot dogs, hard candy, grapes and peanut butter present higher risks than other food. The shapes and texture of these common meals have an easy time blocking off the child's oxygen supply. You can minimize choking risks by offering smaller food portions, such as cutting down a hot dog into bite size pieces instead of slices. Small toys and coins create another choking hazard in the household. Avoid toys labeled with choking warning labels, throw out broken toys and pick up coins throughout the house.

How to Help a Choking Child

You have four minutes to restore a child's airflow before brain damage is possible. After 10 minutes, irreversible brain death is almost guaranteed. Emergency medical professionals probably won't make it to your location before you're in the danger zone, so you need to know how to help a choking child immediately. Several medical techniques, such as the Abdominal Thrusts and CPR, can help a choking child. However, you run the risk of severely injuring the child, especially if you don't know specialized techniques for infants and younger children.

Instead of struggling to save a child's life without knowing age appropriate techniques, a medical device called the Dechoker provides a fast and effective method for clearing the airway of fluid and materials. The Dechoker comes in two child-appropriate sizes, covering six-month-olds to five-year-olds, and five-year-olds to twelve-year-olds. Older children fit into the adult version of the device. A tube goes in the child's mouth, and a mask covers the mouth and nose. You pull back on the device's plunger to create suction and pull the object out of the child's mouth. In many cases, the Dechoker clears the airway in seconds, reducing the time spent in oxygen starvation.

Children face many risks in the world, but the Dechoker lets you minimize the threat of choking. By pairing this medical device with good eating habits, toy selection and cleanliness, you can protect your children from facing this terrifying situation.