Choking Hazards During the Holidays
The holidays are a time of year when we get together with friends and family to share a meal or exchange gifts, but did you also know that it is also a time when choking is much more common. Whether its food or foreign objects like small toys, more people choke during the holidays than any other time of year. We tend to get in a hurry, and unfortunately, that is when choking is likely to occur. Consuming alcoholic beverages can also slow our reflexes and contribute to a higher risk of choking.
Here are a few tips for how you can reduce your risk of choking this holiday season.
- Help small children open their gifts and be sure to check them for any loose or broken parts before letting them play with them.
- Cut food up into smaller pieces and chew thoroughly.
- Slow down. Walking and eating or doing too many things at once can also contribute to a higher risk of choking.
- Pay attention to your animals also. Stray pieces of gift wrap or plastic ties from packaging can pose a choking hazard to pets as well as children.
- If you consume alcohol, do so responsibly and moderately.
- Learn the Heimlich Maneuver.
The Heimlich Maneuver
- Have someone call 911.
- Get the person to stand up.
- Position yourself behind the person.
- Lean the person forward and give five blows to their back with the heel of your hand.
- Place your arms around their waist.
- Make a fist and place it just above the navel, thumb side in.
- Grab the fist with your other hand and push it inward and upward at the same time. Perform five of these abdominal thrusts.
- Repeat until the object is expelled, and the person can breathe or cough on their own.