Information for parents about Foreign Body aspiration
- Is your child having cough for a long time?
- Is your child’s cough not improving on routine treatment?
- Is your child having bouts of cough for a long time?
- Is your child sick for a long time?
If your child is under three years and all or few of the above define the symptoms in your child then it could be a foreign body aspiration. Your child needs flexible bronchoscopy!
Few points for preventing foreign body aspiration by your toddler!
- Some small objects, such as peanuts, crayons, marbles, beads and button batteries, are just the right size to get stuck in a child’s airway and cause choking.
- The best way to avoid this is to make sure that small objects like these are kept out of your child’s reach.
- Never give your child anything that is smaller than his/her mouth size
- Never let your toddler feed unobserved
- Never let other children put anything in the mouth of your toddler
- Never leave small items and food particles, especially nuts on floor, remember your child will explore the environment with his mouth!
- If you suspect a foreign body aspiration rush to the hospital, your child will need flexible bronchoscopy
- No matter how careful you are, your child may choke on something. In most cases, you or someone else will see your child swallow the object that causes choking.
If you have seen your child choked in front of you this is what you need to do….
Back blows for babies under 1 year
- Sit down and lay your baby face down along your thighs, supporting their head with your hand.
- Give up to 5 sharp back blows with the heel of 1 hand in the middle of the back between the shoulder blades.
Back blows for children over 1 year
- Lay a small child face down on your lap as you would a baby.
- If this isn’t possible, support your child in a forward-leaning position and give 5 back blows from behind.
- If back blows don’t relieve the choking and your baby or child is still conscious, give chest thrusts to infants under 1 year or abdominal thrusts to children over 1 year.
- This will create an artificial cough, increasing pressure in the chest and helping to dislodge the object.
Chest thrusts for children under 1 year
- Lay your baby face up along the length of your thighs.
- Find the breastbone and place 2 fingers in the middle.
- Give 5 sharp chest thrusts (pushes), compressing the chest by about a third.
Abdominal thrusts for children over 1 year
- Stand or kneel behind your child. Place your arms under the child’s arms and around their upper abdomen.
- Clench your fist and place it between the navel and ribs.
- Grasp this hand with your other hand and pull sharply inwards and upwards.
- Repeat up to 5 times.
- Make sure you don’t apply pressure to the lower rib cage, as this may cause damage.
Following chest or abdominal thrusts, reassess your child as follows
- If the object still isn’t dislodged and your child’s still conscious, continue the sequence of back blows and either chest or abdominal thrusts.
- Call out or send for help, if you’re still on your own.
- Don’t leave the child alone. Rush to the nearest hospital!
Dr. Rashmi Kapoor
Head, Department of Pediatrics.
Director Pediatric Critical care and Pulmonology, India, Regency Hospital, Kanpur
Director Regency Healthcare group, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.