In case you are faced with a situation where a child is seen choking, here are steps to take.
Choking child (File photo)
We leave our kids at daycare, secure in the knowledge they’ll be looked after well. But apparently, this is not always the case. Heartwrenching preschool CCTV footage has emerged of a 4-year-old boy choking to death at school, all alone during lunchtime. “Why didn’t a teacher come to his rescue?” sobbed the mother’s boy
September 10 was a normal day for a kindergarten class in Hunan, China. The teacher on duty at mealtime made one critical and life-threatening mistake: She went away, leaving the little ones eating lunch on their own. Soon, one of the boys begins choking on his meal. The CCTV footage shows the boy is suffocating, as he tries to remove the food stuck in his mouth by coughing non-stop.
The child did not receive any help for 3 minutes. His classmates – too young to understand the gravity of the situation – are oblivious to the little one’s suffering. The footage then continues, showing the teacher coming back to the table. She tries to help the child extract the cake that was choking him but to no avail.
Immediately after that, the teacher can be seen hurrying the boy to a hospital. The journey took 8 minutes, but unfortunately, the boy could not be saved in time. The kindergarten school has taken full responsibility for the unfortunate episode after thoroughly discussing it over with the victim’s parents.
HOW TO STOP A CHILD CHOKING
The choking child can appear conscious or unconscious – and you should act accordingly depending on how they appear. Here are guidelines from the National Healthcare System UK on how to act if you see a child over one-year-old choking. Remember, these short tips may not seem much, but they can potentially help you save a life.
(A). IF THE CHILD IS STILL CONSCIOUS
-- Place the child facing downwards on your lap OR help sit up while leaning forward.
-- Pat his back five times.
If these back blows don’t help at all, apply the Heimlich Maneuver. This technique involves giving hard pushes towards the abdomen, which can help remove the object stuck in the child’s throat. The steps are to:
-- Stand or keep your knees down, facing the child’s back.
-- Tighten your hand into a fist place it between the navel and ribs.
-- Grab onto your fist with your free hand while still having both around the abdomen, then pull them both inwards and upwards.
-- Continue doing this action up to 5 times.
*Note that too much force may damage the lower ribcage, so do take caution.
Once the technique has been applied, evaluate the situation. Has the object been removed? If it hasn’t been expelled while the child is clearly aware, continue the Heimlich Maneuver. Always stay by the child’s side.
Even if the object has been expelled and the child isn’t suffocating, it is still best to consult a medical professional to evaluate his condition.
(B). IF THE CHILD IS UNCONSCIOUS
-- Lay them down onto a hard, flat surface.
-- Attract attention and call for help. Use your phone to notify the emergency hotline.
-- Open the child’s mouth. If you can clearly see an object that’s stuck and can be retrieved, try and take it out.
-- Apply cardiopulmonary resuscitation by giving the child a few breaths.
-- Always stay by the child’s side.
We are very sorry for the mother’s loss of her son. It’s a death that certainly could have been prevented had the responsible adults known what to do.