Your baby is choking!

What do you do????

In today’s Lakeland Ledger there is the story of a young man who saved a choking baby’s life. The young man is a hero for remembering his training, and responding calmly to a difficult situation.

One paragraph of the story concerned me:

Miller walked over to the table and said he could help. He took the baby and stuck a finger down his throat. He said he was lucky because he swiped the crayon out on the first try.

sweep.gifEvery Red Cross training I’ve attended emphasizes you don’t stick your finger in the throat of the choking person. You may force the object deeper into the throat. Instead, you open the mouth and use your finger as a hook to remove any objects.

The word “swipe” gives me the clue the young man followed the correct procedure. But, I worry that someone reading the story may remember the incorrect information.

I’ve read a few comments blaming the parent of the child. I really feel that’s a dangerous slope to slide. Blaming the mother leads to “That wouldn’t happen to me because I’m a good, attentive parent.” I’ll be blunt: good, attentive parents have lost children to choking. You can not watch your child’s mouth every second of the day. You need to help reduce the risk and reduce the danger from certain foods.

But, most importantly, learn CPR. It will come in handy. Parents and babysitters should take a Infant/Child CPR class. The Polk County Red Cross holds classes at the Lakeland Police Department (map). There are classes every month, or you can call (863) 294-5941 or (863) 386-4440 for more information.