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Gagging with food: Keeping your child out of this fright

Gagging with food: Keeping your child out of this fright

If you've ever seen your child choking, you know the feeling can be hopeless. To prevent this, many mothers and fathers leave children away from small objects or that they feel like putting in their mouths. But when is the villain a food you offered yourself? According to Priscila Zanotti Stagliorio, a pediatrician and doctor of the child emergency, choking with food is serious because it can lead to cardiorespiratory arrest, lack of oxygenation of the brain and the heart, and even death.

Bullets, chewing gum, others sweets, meats, bones, fruits, milk, nuts, popcorn, crackers and sausage. These are the foods that most cause choking in children, according to a survey of Nationwide Children's Hospital in the US, based on emergency care between 2001 and 2009. According to the pediatrician, this list also includes raw fruits and vegetables, olives and vitamins.

How to avoid choking

Children between one and three years old are more susceptible to this accident, since it is the period when they do not yet have their molar teeth in the back of their mouths and can not control the mechanism of chewing and swallowing. To make the process more natural, parents can encourage chewing with baby gestures.

Some care can be taken to prevent choking. The most important thing is to prepare the food properly according to the age of your child, respecting the stage of liquid and pasty food. "You can not offer a baby, for example, pieces of large and hard foods and wait for it to chew with the gum," Priscilla explains. Dr. Priscilla also recommends cutting the food into very small pieces or cooking to soften them.

As children grow older, many parents feel the danger of choking no longer exists. It happens, but for different reasons. "For older children, always teach them to eat slowly, chew food well and drink liquids unhurriedly or in large quantities at one go," the pediatrician advises.

What if?

If a child choked but was able to expel the food soon after only with the cough, nevertheless it is good to take to the doctor to see if this obstruction damaged some structure.

However, when the food is trapped and causes shortness of breath, the case is more serious. It is important to take action immediately. The Heimlich maneuver can be done on people of all sizes, but the procedure varies depending on the age.

The pediatrician took a step-by-step on how to do it the right way:

In children under one year : turn her face down at a height lower than her hip, resting her on her arms to ensure the necessary safety. Place the fingers of one of your hands resting between the baby's cheeks, carefully. Give five strong lids in the region of the back, between the bones of the rib, so that the foreign body is expelled. If this does not occur, it is necessary to go to the second stage of the technique, in which the baby is turned upwards and, with the two larger fingers of the hand, tightens the diaphragm (near the height of the stomach) five times until the object is expelled or the child demonstrates a reaction and it is possible to withdraw what causes the choking, being careful not to hurt it or push it back into the throat.

In children older than one year : Embrace the child (or adult) from behind with one hand in the form of a closed fist (like a punch) and the other on it to compress the region below the ribs (in the diaphragm - height of the mouth of the stomach) until the object is moved from the airway to the mouth and thrown out, allowing the return of the senses and breathing.

Immediately take the victim to an emergency room. If there is fainting, call for emergency help, both by phone and physically.

Because of its potential for choking, choking can already be hopeless in an adult. Imagine in a child? Respecting her time at mealtime and staying calm if it happens is essential to avoiding the serious consequences.

Check out tips for healthy snacks for your child

Check out tips for healthy snacks for your child

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