When it comes to young infants and children, just about any object can become a choking hazard. If an object can fit into a young child’s mouth, you can be assured that it will eventually find its way in there – that’s just the way kids are. The good news, however, is that there are five proven steps that you can take to prevent choking in young infants and children.
#1: Keep a watchful eye on kids at mealtime
Choking incidents can happen at any time, but they are most likely to happen at mealtime. The problem here is that many adults underestimate the ability of certain foods to become choking hazards. Round objects (think grapes) and firm foods that can’t be chewed completely represent particular risks. Thus, you really need to remain vigilant at mealtimes, even with foods that you think are safe.
#2: Teach kids the appropriate way to eat
This might sound obvious, but simply teaching kids how to chew their food slowly can make a big difference. So can teaching kids to cut their food into small strips and small pieces. Those two steps can prevent relatively large objects from getting stuck in the respiratory tract. In addition, children should learn never to talk with food in their mouth. (It’s not just rude, it’s also unsafe!) And, finally, kids should learn the proper amount of food to put in their mouth at one time – they shouldn’t be putting handfuls of popcorn in their mouth at the same time, for example.
#3: Take age requirements on toys seriously
Not all toys are appropriate for children under the age of 3. Toymakers are required to list the suggested age range right there on the packaging, but many adults simply ignore them, assuming that a toy made for a 4-year-old must be OK for their precocious 2-year-old. But those age requirements are there for a reason – they should alert parents that very tiny components or parts may be included that could represent a choking or suffocation hazard.
#4: Learn infant and child CPR
Learning baby and child PR can help to prevent the unthinkable, especially any time your young ones are around water (such as your backyard swimming pool). With infant CPR classes, you will be able to practice with lifelike CPR mannequins to learn the perfect technique. And, if you’d prefer to study CPR in a group, you can also arrange a CPR party in Los Angeles (or a CPR party elsewhere in Orange County), where you can learn with other parents.
#5: Childproof your home
If you’re like most parents, you’ve probably taken a few steps to childproof your home – such as locking certain cabinets or installing gates around stairs. But there is one more step that you can take to childproof your home, and that’s simply cleaning up all the small items around your home – coins, marbles, buttons, plastic bottle caps – that could become choking hazards in the hands of a small child or baby.
With these five basic tips, you can significantly limit the risk of a choking, drowning, or suffocation hazard with young children. A working knowledge of CPR basics can save a few precious moments when disaster strikes. By learning CPR, you could save a child’s life.