At Dechoker, one of the comments we hear often from families who have been through a choking emergency is that they “never thought it would happen to them.” Choking is one of those things that we all know is out there, but that most people really don’t give any thought to until it’s too late.
We believe that more awareness about choking prevention and treatment could save lives. Not every emergency can be prevented, but more people could be ready for those emergencies when they do arise.
So how do we raise that awareness? Here are some steps most people can take in their own lives to spread the word about choking and how to prevent it from becoming fatal.
Before you can educate others on any issue, you need to know your stuff. A great place to start learning about choking prevention and first aid is right here on our blog, where you can find posts on everything from high-risk foods to how to identify choking and what to do next. You can also learn on our website about choking statistics, such as the surprising fact that a child dies in the U.S. every five days from choking. Most importantly of all, you should educate yourself about first-aid treatments, including abdominal thrusts, back slaps and The Dechoker.
Your next step is deciding whom you want to spread the word to. We believe a grassroots approach is a strong choice. Start with the people in your immediate community, who are already interested in what you have to say. This can be a trusted group of friends and family or members of a community or church organization.
Another option is to focus on people who have a vested interest in learning about choking in particular. For instance, the risk of choking is much higher for children age 5 and younger, as well as elderly people. This makes parents and caregivers of both of those age groups a great audience. Reach out to other families from your child’s daycare or school. Connect with the team at your elderly relative’s care facility, or find a community group that serves older people.
The old days of spreading awareness with flyers and newspaper ads have changed. Those approaches may still be effective for some, but we recommend any good awareness campaign also come with a strong online presence. Here are some things you should do:
Passing information along is wonderful, but it sticks in people’s minds a lot better if they have an event that gets them directly involved. For choking, a great option is to reach out to local first responders or healthcare organizations to set up a demonstration event. Invite an expert to come teach people first-aid treatments such as abdominal thrusts or using The Dechoker. Events can also be online. Have some kind of raffle or giveaway that encourages people to learn more about your campaign. Be sure to promote your events using social media and email.
In all that you do in your awareness campaign, remember to empower people with hope, information and preparedness. A topic like choking can be scary. You want people to understand the risk, but still want to learn more. Show your audience that a simple action, such as learning about first-aid treatments, can make a huge difference in the safety of their loved ones.
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