Choking in Children

Choking is the medical condition very common in children. It is the situation where any object like food stuffs or toy piecesget stuck in the airway. This blocksnormal air flow into or out of the lungs. It interruptswith proper breathing in children. The epiglottis is the structure that acts like a lid and shuts over the trachea when a person swallows. It directs food towards the esophagus and prevents from going to the trachea.But in rare situations, the epiglottis fails to close fast and objects can slide into the trachea. Choking very commonly leads to injury and death in young children as their airways are small and easily gets obstructed.

Emergency Situation in Choking

Mostly, the food or object blocks the trachea only partially.  Usually the object can be coughed out and normal breathing is attained quickly. Children, who are choking and coughing but can breathe and talk, usually recover without help. After an uncomfortable and distressingepisode they will generally be fine after a few seconds.Sometimes, the object that has got into the trachea can completely block the airway. If airflow towards and outwards of the lungs is blocked, the brain may rundown of oxygen. This can make choking, a life-threatening emergency.

A choking child may need help if he or she:

  • Fails to take breath
  • Gasps or wheeze
  • Feels difficulty to talk, cry, or make noise
  • Changes color into blue
  • Grabs throat
  • Waves arms for help
  • Feels panicked
  • Is found to be unconscious

Management of Choking in Children

  • When a child is choking and coughing but is able to breathe and talk: In this situation, the airway may not be blocked completely. So, nothing is to be done in this condition. Observe the child cautiously and make certain he or she gets recoveredfully. Mostly, the child will be okay after a strong cough.Donot try to grab the object in the throat. Child should not also be patted on the back. These procedures can push the object more down to the airway and may make the condition worse.
  • If the child is conscious but feels difficulty to breathe, talk, or make noise, or is turning blue: In this situation abdominal thrusts should be done. Subsequently call for emergency help. If there is any trained person, start the thrusts. If no one is available, wait until help arrives.
  • If the choking child become unconscious and stops breathing: Shout for immediate help. Provide CPR instantaneously by a trained person. If trained one is not available wait for help.

Causes of Choking in Children

Causes of Choking in Children

Dr. Gupta’s IAFA is a well experienced institute in managing emergency conditions in children. Institute of Applied Food Allergy® educates and provides awareness to parents about the precautions and preventions to be taken to avoid such life threatening situations”. 

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Prevention of Choking in Children

Prevention is the first step to avoid choking in children. Following things should be noted:

  • Avoid risky food items like grapes, popcorn, raw carrots, raisins, nuts, gummy candy, peanuts etc. 
  • Serve food forthe child in small amounts. Trainthem to have food by sitting down and to avoid talking or laughing with food in mouth.
  • Have keen observation on crawling kids and those who are learning to walkas they put every object into mouth. Watch out for toys like deflated balloons, beads, coins,small toy parts, and batteries.
  • Selecttoys that are safe andappropriate for age. 
  • Introduce solid foods at proper time 
  • Keep dangerous objects away from reach of children
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Dr. Sahil Gupta completed his Bachelor of Ayurveda in Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) and Master’s Degree in Health Administration (MHA) India. He is Registered Ayurvedic Doctor & Vaidya in India having Registration No. 23780. He is the CEO and founder of IAFA. After completing BAMS, Dr. Sahil Gupta started practicing Ayruveda by giving prime importance to allergic disorders management. He became the first Ayurvedic doctor to cure Food Allergies through Ayurveda. Read More About Dr. Sahil Gupta.

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