Animation launched to help prevent kids choking | Newry Times

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editor@newrytimes.com
Tuesday, June 8th, 2021
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In advance of Child Safety Week, 7- 13 June 2021, the Public Health Agency  (PHA) has developed an animation to warn parents and guardians of potential choking hazards for young children and provide practical advice on what to do if your child chokes.

 

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Each day around 40 under-5s across the UK are rushed to hospital after choking on something or swallowing something dangerous.

Food is the most likely cause, but small objects and toys can also be risky for young children.

 

 

Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride says, “This new animation will help make parents and carers aware of the potential dangers for children, particularly for those under the age of five.

“The animation also gives practical advice on what can be done to reduce the risk of choking.

“I would encourage families to take a few minutes and watch the animation.” 

Hilary Johnston, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager with the PHA, said, “Choking occurs when an object becomes stuck in the throat or the windpipe and blocks air from flowing into the lungs.

 

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“Children, particularly those under 5, often put objects in their mouth.

“This is a normal part of how they explore the world.

“However, some small objects or food items can be just the right size to get stuck in a child’s airway and cause choking.”

Things such as these can be dangerous:

Foods: Grapes, cherry tomatoes, sausages, whole nuts, lollipops and sweets (such as marshmallows and hard-boiled sweets)

 

 

Toys/objects: marbles, coins, button batteries, balloons, nappy sacks, and small toys

Hilary continued, “No matter how careful you are, your child may choke on something, but by following the simple steps in our latest home accident prevention animation you can help reduce the risk.

“Ensure food is cut into small pieces and keep small items out of the reach of children.

“It is also important to know what to do if your child is choking.

“Coughing is a natural response when something obstructs our airway – if your child is coughing after swallowing an item encourage them to carry on coughing to bring up what they’re choking on, but don’t leave them alone.

“If your child’s coughing isn’t effective, they are silent or they can’t breathe in properly or speak, call for help immediately.

“Included in the animation is some first aid advice that can be carried out until help arrives.

“Call 999 if the blockage doesn’t come out after trying back blows and either chest or abdominal thrusts.

“Keep trying this cycle until help arrives.

 

 

“Even if the object has come out, get medical help.

“Part of the object might have been left behind, or your child might have been hurt by the procedure.

“Remember the best way to avoid choking is by following our steps on reducing your risk.

“For further advice and to watch the animation see NI Direct.”

 

 

Keep up to date with all the latest Northern Ireland Coronavirus / Covid-19 news HERE.

 

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