What Everybody Ought To Know About Choking Children

It's important to know when something's up with your child

It’s important to know when something’s up with your child

Ever been there when a child is choking? Time stands still, and within a split second, several questions shoot across your mind: Oh my god, is she choking? What do I do? Is she going to die?

Children up to the age of 6 are at high risk of choking, with babies under 2 at the highest risk. A child with a fully obstructed airway for more than 4 minutes will experience brain damage or death. An ambulance is likely to take at least 10 minutes to arrive.

Learn how to deal with this situation. 

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mel on 3 August, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Most of the time in Malaysia kids are running around whilst eating/drinking or more like being fed but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one choke before…I know once someone almost mistook a piece of wood from a table for wheatabix…never really thought about children choking on food. Most of the time I thought the greatest danger stems from pulling kettle wires or like answering the phone will giving them a bubble bath- then again I think those were thanks to all the adverts they always show on tv.


  2. Children don’t just choke on food, and you never know when “danger” will pop up. I watched a toddler playing with 2 woolen pom poms playfully bring one of them to her mouth, and it certainly didn’t look like she was trying to eat it.

    However, next thing I know, it looks like she’s coughing, but there’s no sound, and then she starts making weird gagging noises.

    By the time I ran over to her, she’d already started vomiting out the 7-inch piece of woolen string she’d swallowed.

    A lot of unexpected things can happen when dealing with children, especially the younger ones, so it’s important to try your best to be as prepared as possible.


  3. Posted by boo on 8 August, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    I totally agree with you on this one.
    Its really hard to anticipate what these little ones will do.

    There were cases where little kids were given sweets which they later choked on while in the care of their maids.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that one can never be too careful, and knowing these steps could help save lives.

    Which brings me to your previous post on being the guy in early year childcare.
    I personally dont see it as a problem.
    What I feel is important is that these little ones are cared for by someone who is trained and knows what he/she is doing.

    The maids that we have are trained (or not, that’s really up for debate) to do the housework, and not to look after kids.
    They wouldnt have the slightest idea what to do should something happen. Maybe hit the quick dial to get ‘maam’ or ‘sir’ which could be too late. And the abuse that some kids have to go through….arrgghhh….

    So guy in childcare?
    GOOD STUFF! Go for it, Mark!


  4. Hi Boo!

    Thanks for the support!

    Yea, hard candies are one of the common food choking hazards. Along with hot dogs, grapes, nuts and chunky fruit/veg.

    And never mind that most maids don’t know what to do, what’s even scarier is WHAT they do!

    For those who’ve never seen the video below, it’s kinda violent…


    It’s hard to believe that she’s only being jailed for 2 years!


  5. My 8.5 months boy is very prone to choking. On finely diced veges, even while I’m nursing him! Luckily he’s managed to cough it up each time.

    This stuff is what every parent should know and revisit regularly. You might still not remember exactly should you need to use it (touch wood!) but at least it helps to make you less panicky.


    • All young children are very prone to choking, something hopefully every parent is aware of, though I doubt it.

      In a way, Amy, you’re lucky, because Nathan’s fall when he was young makes you more aware and careful about safety issues.

      Others will just take the attitude of “Aiya, nolah, nothing will happen lah, I do it all the time, my friends all do it, OK wan lah” until something really serious happens.


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