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Heimlich maneuver in babies

Heimlich maneuver in babies

Heimlich maneuver is a first aid measure that is applied in case of suffocation. It involves the emergency release of the airways, obstructed by the accidental aspiration of foreign bodies or pieces of food. The maneuver can be performed even in babies, and its learning does not require prior medical training. Any parent can learn to practice it, being a first aid measure that could save the child's life.

When is the Heimlich maneuver used?

The airways of the baby are very small and narrow, and at this age, the ability to chew or swallow does not develop very well. Babies are the main category of children prone to suffocation or airway obstruction.

There are all sorts of dangers and risk factors that can lead to choking of little ones. You need to swallow a larger piece of food or a bean to drown and choke on it. It is very important that, in the case of babies, the Heimlich maneuver should be performed only when the child shows signs of drowning, not just drowning easily.

Failure to do so could result in severe trauma or injury. To figure out whether or not the child suffocates, it is important to follow the symptoms:

  • breathe with difficulty or cannot breathe at all;
  • is agitated and cries incessantly;
  • coughs in an attempt to remove the object that blocks the airway;
  • it begins to turn red and later to age on the face;
  • he loses consciousness (ultimately).

How to perform Heimlich maneuver in babies?

The first thing you need to do when you notice your baby is drowning is to call (or have someone do it) at 112, to call an ambulance. Until the ambulance arrives, it is advisable to try to perform the Heimlich maneuver.

This can save the baby's life, suffocation being one of the most serious illnesses, which threatens the child's life with every second that passes from the moment the little one fails to breathe.

There are two types of techniques for this maneuver. In case the choking is easy - the child just cries, coughs easily, but does not show signs of redness or aging in the face - you can try the easier version of the procedure:

  • Place the baby face down on the left forearm so that he supports his head with his palm (taking care not to put pressure on the airways, so as not to block them even more); gently bend it upside down, so that it is lower than the chest, and with the free hand, apply 4 light strokes, between the shoulder blades; inspects the child's mouth cavity to see if the foreign body has blocked his airway.

If this method is not successful, and the baby's condition worsens, try another maneuver option:

  • Sit on a chair, place the baby lying face down on your knees; the head of the child must be slightly lower than the rest of the body; apply, in the lower part of the sternum, chest compressions (never abdominal), from bottom to top, with the help of two fingers, 5-6 times. As with the first technique, after applying the series of chest compressions, check the baby's oral cavity to see if the foreign body is observed or not. Also check the baby's breathing and pulse.

Applying for specialized medical help is necessary regardless of whether the procedure is successful or not. Even if the foreign body is expelled through the Heimlich maneuver, doctors must evaluate the child's health and vital functions, in order to detect complications or other problems that could endanger his life.

Did you learn to execute the Heimlich maneuver? Have you ever needed to apply it to your baby? Do you think this is one of the help measures any parent should know? Tell us your opinions in the comments section below!

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