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11.07.19

Reducing the risk of choking

Reducing the risk of choking

Choking can occur in any individual of any age, however the risk is higher in children, elderly people and those with swallowing difficulties. There are many reasons for swallowing difficulties, be it from medical conditions or even ageing. It’s important these issues are managed to reduce the risk of choking while eating.

Blockage of the airways can be absolutely life-threatening and it is therefore essential that we are educated on how to prevent and remove airway blockages. You’ll find below some of the most high risk foods and objects for choking, along with ways to minimise these risks, and finally how to deal with a choking incident.

FOODS AND OBJECTS THAT POSE A HIGH CHOKING RISK:

  • Hot dogs (largest cause of choking in children)
  • Hard Candy
  • Popcorn
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Grapes
  • Nuts
  • Raw Carrots
  • Apples
  • Latex balloons (leading cause of death in under 6 year olds)
  • Small coins and batteries
  • Marbles
  • Small toys
  • Caps off pens and markers

HOW TO MINIMISE RISK OF CHOKING:

  • Try to supervise small children when eating
  • Eat only at the table, and in an upright position
  • Limit distractions while eating and always have a drink at hand
  • Encourage adequate chewing of food
  • Keep small objects out of reach
  • Avoid toys and clothing with small or lose buttons
  • Cook, grate, or mash hard foods

SIGNS OF CHOKING:

  • Coughing or trying to cough
  • Reddening of face
  • Signs of distress such as clutching at throat

WHAT TO DO:

  • If the choking is mild, encourage the person to cough and they may be able to dislodge the item themselves.
  • If the item cannot be dislodged by coughing, next attempt backslaps. If this does not work, move onto abdominal thrusts.
  • If the person is still choking then call 999.

 

For more information, contact us at: lifevac@firstreaction.co.uk

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