It's a parent's worst nightmare, but something you can learn how to respond to: witnessing your child choke. And now the kids are back at school, it could be a good time to brush up on your first aid skills.
In a recent survey from St John Ambulance, 40 per cent of parent respondents had actually witnessed their own baby choke, yet over 80 per cent of these parents didn't know what to do if it happened.
St John Ambulance NSW is encouraging parents to learn how to respond to a child or baby choking, by undertaking their Caring for Kids first aid course.
St John Ambulance NSW CEO Sarah Lance said: "It's so important that parents have the skills and confidence to stop their child from choking. Knowing what to do means you will have peace of mind in the event of an emergency, but also means that you could act quickly if you ever needed."
David Perkovic, a Business Development Manager at St John Ambulance NSW, who lives in Wetherill Park, knows all too well the importance of knowing first aid, after he saved his one-year-old daughter from choking while he was working from home.
"I was on a call to a customer, and in the background I could hear my eldest daughter crying," Mr Perkovic said.
"When I came up the stairs to see what was going on I heard my wife screaming for me and I noticed straight away the issue - my youngest daughter was choking.
"I just went into automatic mode. I took my daughter from my wife and placed my daughter's head on my arm with her head towards my hand and I gave her two quick back blows to the back of the shoulders to try to dislodge the object that was choking her.
"Straight away after the back blows she started coughing and crying and I knew I had dislodged the foreign object that was choking her. I put my fingers in her mouth to clear out her mouth and her airway. It all happened so quickly."
St John Ambulance said to minimise the risk of your child choking, there are a few steps you can take including:
- Making sure you properly time the introduction of solid foods
- Follow health advice on what age to give children certain foods and how to safely feed these foods to children
- Supervising mealtime
- Keeping hazardous objects out of reach.
The Caring for Kids course is a first aid training course especially designed for responding to emergencies with kids. St John NSW Educators give a comprehensive demonstration on how to respond to a choking emergency, as well as how to resuscitate an infant or child, control bleeding, manage poisoning, shock, wounds, burns, bites and stings.
Enrol at stjohnnsw.com.au/training