Prevent Choking

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Robbi, Lynn, Anonymous

Choking occurs when the upper airway is blocked by food or other objects, preventing air to pass normally. Simple choking can cause the afflicted person to cough, but a complete blockage of airways is considered an emergency case requiring fast action. Otherwise death is inevitable. Prompt medical action can effectively save the life of a choking person.

There are many factors that can cause choking. But, it all boils down to the fact that an object is stuck in the upper airway. An adult may experience choking if the food is not chewed properly, or if the person is talking or laughing with food in the mouth. Older adults have higher choking risks if they drink alcohol, take drugs, or are suffering from certain illnesses including Parkinson's disease. On the other hand, young children, especially aged below 5, are more prone to choking because of their habit to put small objects such as toys, coins, or hard candies in their mouths, which can lodge in their throat.

Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

S23004-01.PNG

Ad

Symptoms of Choking

A person who is experiencing choking may exhibit the following behaviors:

  1. 1
    Clutching the throat – universal sign for choking
    S23004-02.PNG
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Sign language using the hands
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Inability to talk
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Coughing or gagging
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  5. 5
    Wheezing
    S23004-03.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  6. 6
    Loss of consciousness
    S23004-04.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  7. 7
    Cyanosis or ashen look
    S23004-05.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

In case of a choking infant who does not yet have the faculty of language, the following may be observed:

  1. 1
    Difficulty in breathing
    S23004-06.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Weak cry
    S23004-07.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Weak cough
    S23004-08.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Choking Hazards for Children

Foods

  1. 1
    Candies (hard and gel types)
    S23004-09.JPG
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Grapes
    S23004-10.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Hot dogs
    S23004-11.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Nuts and popcorn
    S23004-12.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  5. 5
    Veggie and fruit chunks
    S23004-13.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Household Items

  1. 1
    Marbles
    S23004-14.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Button-style batteries
    S23004-15.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Coins
    S23004-16.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Jewelery
    S23004-17.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  5. 5
    Pieces of latex balloons
    S23004-18.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  6. 6
    Small toy parts
    S23004-19.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Choking in children can be prevented by following these steps:

  1. 1
    Allow children to play with appropriate toys recommended for their age.
    Some toys are made of small pieces that can be disassembled. A single tiny part that get into the hands of a 3-year old toddler can be a choking hazard.
    S23004-20.JPG
    Advertisement
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  2. 2
    Keep watch of children during their playtime.
    If you have older children, separate their toys from the playthings of the younger children. Teach the older ones to be responsible in putting away their toys after using them.
    S23004-21.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  3. 3
    Clean all the clutter from the floor and other accessible surfaces where little children can pick up tiny objects or food items to put in their mouths.
    Inspect the play area and scan for hazardous items before letting children to play in. Keep choking hazards out of children's reach.
    S23004-22.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  4. 4
    Reshape edible items.
    Cut larger pieces of food lengthwise, then slice them further into small pieces to make chewing easier for both adults and children. It is safer to serve food in bite-size, quarters, chopped, or shredded form than presenting them in chunks or big slices.
    S23004-23.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  5. 5
    Teach children how to take small bites and chew food thoroughly before swallowing.
    S23004-24 1.jpg
     
    1. Demonstrate the proper way of biting, chewing, and swallowing, explaining their importance in preventing choking episodes.
    2. Discourage children from eating hurriedly.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  6. 6
    Feed children while they are in a stationary position.
    Avoid giving them food when they are moving, running around, playing, or during road trips.
    S23004-25.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  7. 7
    Encourage children to drink liquid alternately with chewing solid food.
    But, they shouldn't be allowed to chew and drink at the same time.
    S23004-26.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  8. 8
    Discourage children not to speak with food in the mouth.
    Teach them to wait until all the food items had been chewed and swallowed before saying a word.
    S23004-27.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

  9. 9
    Learn how to give first aid to a choking victim.
    S23004-28.JPG
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No | I need help

    Advertisement

Tips, Tricks and Warning:

  • Avoid feeding a crying or laughing baby as food may lodge in the throat.
  • Remove the bones and other hard parts of a fish and chicken before serving them to young children.
  • Do not allow small kids to feed a baby.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
Was this helpful? Yes | No | I need help

Comments

VisiHow welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.




ABTIKWriters
Premier Author
159 Articles Started
3,251 Article Edits
37,405 Points
ABTIKWriters is a premier author with VisiHow. ABTIKWriters has achieved the level of "Captain" with 37,405 points. ABTIKWriters has started 159 articles (including this one) and has also made 3,251 article edits. 922,000 people have read ABTIKWriters's article contributions.
ABTIKWriters's Message Board
ABTIKWriters: Hi, my name is ABTIKWriters.
ABTIKWriters: Can I help you with your problem about "Prevent Choking"?
 

Article Info

Categories : Safety

Recent edits by: Lynn, Robbi, Nerissa Avisado

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,885 times.

Do you have a question not answered in this article?
Click here to ask one of the writers of this article
x

Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No