One of the biggest fears among parents is that their children might get hurt. It is common for young children to swallow foreign objects which sometimes choke them and cause other injuries. It is, therefore, a concern for every parent to ensure that their child is safe at all times.
However, this does not mean that your child will never fall into the risk of swallowing foreign objects or injuring themselves. As a parent, there are some measures that you can take to mitigate the risk of such accidents. There are first aid measures that can be taken before seeking emergency medical services from the nearest medical centre.
Dr. Saad Saad is a paediatric surgeon who has served in the United States for over 40 years. He has assisted thousands of children suffering from different medical conditions. Over 1000 children who he has treated have suffered from injuries related to swallowing foreign objects.
These are children in the six months to 14 years age bracket. As a professional in this field, he has important information that he shares with parents on how they can prevent their children from choking after swallowing foreign objects.
Young children are curious, a factor that leads them to put everything they get their hands on into the mouth. Accidentally, they will swallow these objects which might get into the stomach or get stuck in the oesophagus. As a precaution, parents should always ensure that they keep a close eye on their children as well as ensuring that there are no small objects within their reach. Read more: Life Lessons from Dr. Saad Saad, Pediatric Surgeon and When Child Swallows Foreign Object Advice Advice from Dr. Saad Saad | Patch
Choking mainly happens when a child swallows a foreign object which gets stuck at the oesophagus. Such an accident will result in difficulty breathing, inability to swallow food, wheezing or even chest pains. Larger objects tend to get stuck in the oesophagus while smaller objects get into the windpipes. Some of the commonly swallowed objects include hot dogs, cones, peanuts, and batteries.
For children younger than six years, turning them upside down, holding them by their legs and tapping them on the back can help the stuck object to pop out. For children older than six years, the Heimlich manoeuvre is recommended.
These measures should dislodge the foreign object out of the body. Dr. Saad Saad cautions parents against trying to use their fingers to scoop stuck objects out of the children’s mouth. Such an attempt to might make the stuck object to slide deeper into the oesophagus.
If the first aid measures do not help, immediate medical attention from a medical professional should be sought out. A physician will be in a position to use an x-ray or other methods to identify the position of the stuck object before removal.