Friday, May 1, 2009

Fatherhood Friday: Do you know how to respond?

Peanut gets excited about food. If she's really hungry (which seems to be quite often...I swear we feed her!), she is quick to shove food in her mouth before chewing. Combine that with drinking water too fast and we've got one choking-prone kid. Nothing serious, mind you...just a simple "hack hack hack" and she's right as rain.

A couple weeks ago, after playing for a bit in the living room, it was time for lunch. I set Peanut in her high chair and placed several pieces of cheese in front of her. As usual, she started shoveling the food in her mouth as fast as she could. Though this time her coughs were actual gags. She spit the cheese from her mouth and tried one piece at a time. Same thing happened. I was concerned...how could one small piece of food make her gag like that? So, as I'm standing there trying to figure out what is going on it happens. She wasn't gagging...and wasn't breathing. Peanut was full on choking.

I'm not sure what the time lapse was between realizing what was happening and having her facedown on my arm in the infant Heimlich position, but I can safely assume it was mere seconds. I only had to hit her back 2-3 times before the obstruction fell out of her mouth. She started coughing and crying (sweet, sweet music to my ears!).



This, my friends, is the safety seal off a bottle of lotion (folded in half). She must have shoved it in her mouth while we were playing on the floor (not sure how it got into the living room, it should have been in the trash). My guess is that every time she tried to swallow a piece of cheese, this would get caught at the back of her throat...until it finally lodged itself in place. I would have never guessed that something so small and innocent looking could be so dangerous.

Afterward, I cradled Peanut in my arms on the kitchen floor in a state of mild shock and relief. Once comforted (both of us), it was understandable that she didn't want to eat lunch anymore. It took a good 10 minutes for her to go back to being her happy-go-lucky (very hungry) self.

Why did I tell you this story? Awareness. I was a lifeguard for several years and was trained to respond to all types of situations. I never once thought that I'd have to use any of this on my own child.

So, please...if you are not CPR/first aid certified, do it. You owe it to yourself and your family. In the meantime, read this article. It gives you the basics on what to do if you are ever put in a situation where the Heimlich or CPR is necessary.

16 comments:

ciara said...

i'm glad everything turned out alright. that had to been a little scary. it's also a lesson and i'm glad you shared it with us. i will admit to not being cpr/first aid certified. sad fact: i can't even swim very well. mini-me got classes in school so she's allowed to administer some i supposed. oy!

Rob said...

I am glad Peanut and you are ok. I took infant and child CPR when my 6 yr old son was born and thank god I have never had to use it but feel better knowing I know how to use it if I ever needed to. Assuming I didn't freak out, panic and call my wife to help. LOL. Happy FF.

Check out my FF post at http://www.pbandsmellysdad.com/

Daddy Files said...

Oh man...

For some reason, my biggest fear is Will choking. I'm hypersensitive about it and I watch him like a hawk. This just reinforces it for me.

Glad everything turned out OK.

Andrew's Daddies said...

I'm so glad all is OK with Peanut. I often fear of my son choking. I have taken first aid in my early years of life (20s). All though my certification has expired years ago, I think I know what to do, but hope I never have to.

Thanks for your post

WeaselMomma said...

I'm sorry that happened, but am glad she is okay. This is exactly how your hair starts to turn gray. I bet you had a good cry right along with her once she was okay.

Lauren (PPD Dads Project) said...

We had a scare with our three year old awhile back. She too is a big fan of putting whatever in her mouth. She swallowed a quarter (not sure how she got a hold of it) but hubby had to do the infant heimlich and thankfully we were able to get it out. Very nerve-wracking seconds though. Very nerve-wracking. So glad peanut (and you) are ok.

Jason said...

I'm glad everything turned out ok. If she's anything like my 2 year old, you'll need to watch her like a hawk. If there's something on the floor it will be found and go straight to the mouth. I just 5 minutes ago pulled a chewed up(brand new as well grrr) DVD case out of his mouth...

MileHighDad said...

Great job and way to keep your head!

Eternal Lizdom said...

How absolutely frightening! Good for you, Mama, for staying calm and handling it with grace!! (The breakdown afterwards doesn't count, it's ok)

Otter Thomas said...

Very scary. I am glad you were prepared and handled it well.

On a completely different note I thought you should know that there is a video circulating of your husband dancing with a much younger woman.

new-dad-blog said...

Scary!

I'm going to get certified now. . .

Super Mega Dad said...

Well, I think I'm going to go home right now and clean up my floor. There's tons of this type of crap lying all over it and my 3 year old is world famous for putting every little thing in her mouth. She's the one that has put most of this stuff on the floor in the first place.

Glad you and the little one are OK.

Craig said...

Thanks for the reminder. Great response on your part and thanks for sharing.

21stcenturyman said...

Wow, scary story. Thanks for making us all aware of the dangers of choking and how to be prepared. My girls are 10 and 12 and I haven't had a CPR class since my oldest was born. I can't remember what to do. Time to brush up. Glad you and peanut are okay.

Bella Daddy said...

WOW...same thing happened here...amazing how we can react quickly, "calmly"...and take care of biz....but, I will say, it was one of the scariest moments of my life....(it was a pretzel, that the other half had given her). GOOD GOING for you and your little one...! Best Wishes!

KWG said...

Holy crap. That is scary. You're right about knowing CPR, and you especially have to be careful with infants and toddlers because they can't take the same amount of pressure on their chest as older kids and adults can take.

I'm glad you were right on it.