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Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: Question about choking toddler


 jdsmommywolf - Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:48 pm

My 15 month old son choked on a chip earlier. I tried dislodge the food with my finger. I used my finger like a hook and tried to get it out. It never did come out but went farther down. He quit choking and has been fine since. I am hoping that the food went down his esophagus since it was stuck and not down his airway. My question is how do I know if it went down his airway and what are the symptoms. Could I have just pushed it down into his stomach? By the way I will not give him chips again until he is older! I am sure he is fine but it scared me really bad, and I just want to be on the safe side. Thanks.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Mon May 04, 2009 8:32 pm

User avatar Hello,
Yes, you have experienced a mother's scare for sure. Many mothers don't realize how easily a baby can choke on foods. Even "baby" cookies can be mushed up by the baby until there is a large chunk left that can be inhaled whole, causing choking and even death.

We generally don't encourage a blind fingersweep because you can push the object down further. If you see the object you can sometimes be successful in bringing it up. If it had gone into the trachea, rather than the esophagus, your baby would have reacted badly with coughing, continued choking, possible airway obstruction, breathing difficulty and turning blue in color. I suspect it was the esophagus - lucky for you both. Be sure you are familiar with choking treatment in babies. Back blows with the baby turned, head down and declined over your other arm - a firm back blow sometimes dislodges the object. If not, chest thrusts (often called the Heimlich maneuver) can be used. In all cases, babies must be treated quite gently, yet firm enough for the air in the lungs to blow the object out. Check into infant first aid and CPR. As more people become educated, more babies will be saved. You may save another person some day with this skill.

This is an excellent question to remind caretakers of the dangers of "finger foods" when not in tiny bites. Hot dog circles are notoriously choking hazards in small children - even older ones so it is suggested these be cut into quarters after the discs are sliced.

Enjoy your baby!

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