Hello all, Siobhan Courtney has finished her diary for us now, having returned from the country and done a bit of practise infant resus… (truth be told she returned some time ago and this got rather lost in my inbox at Christmas. Bad Aitch.) I hope you’ll join me in thanking her for her thoughts and experiences over this exciting developmental (emphasis on ‘mental) stage.
For the record, the first image I have used to illustrate the piece is what one would do for a child of 12 months and over, where you place over your knee and give five blows between the shoulder blades, using the flat of your hand.
With babies, you lie the baby over your forearm so that you know you are giving support to the neck, illustrated further down. If that doesn’t work, it’s onto chest thrusts, which are explained in more detail by the St John Ambulance below*.
“Fellow BLW’ers is sadly the end of our journey. I have really enjoyed sharing it all with you and it’s been wonderful to read all your comments and tips – thank you so much.”
“Back in the country and back in the classroom – (well kind of….)
So I’ve managed to transport a BLW’ing baby back into the country safely and soundly after my very first road trip with Alban. We only went to Wales but what a wonderful adventure it was. I packed a special BLW bag for Alban as I didn’t want to get caught out again. Our ’essential stock’ consisted of breadsticks, apple slices, cheese chunks, red pepper wedges and a banana. Needless to say all very manageable finger foods resulting in a rather varied lunch for the little man at the motorway services!
Our little trip was relatively drama free to be honest. I feel so much more confident about eating out now with him – practice really does make perfect. However, most of the time it’s a real job to get him to eat any of his lunch because he’s just too busy nosing around. I was also very impressed that he had an extremely spicy penne arrabbiata that he ate quicker than me. What a proud parent moment that was – isn’t it funny how you just get so excited over something that must sound so mundane to others?!
One really interesting outcome of our week away is that Alban’s taste buds seem to have totally changed. He’s now not overly fussed about melon, broccoli, carrots and spinach despite not getting enough of them previously. However, I suspect that may have something to do with Mummy serving them to him practically every day. Maybe he’s just decided he’s had enough of those for a while and is enjoying embracing his new found penchant for potatoes, toast, banana and breadsticks. Carb overload anyone? It seems pretty normal though for the fickle little things to love one type of food one week and hate it the next. Anyone else found this?
So, 6 weeks into our BLW journey the subject of choking does tend to linger at the back of my mind. Not in a scary way, but just (god forbid) if anything did happen I wouldn’t have a clue what to do – apart from scream and panic. With that in mind I thought it would be sensible to book onto a first aid course. I’m writing this now after just returning from it proudly brandishing my first aid certificate (my first one ever!) Anyway, I feel so much better after this evening. I really would recommend attending a course – mine was through my children’s centre and they run pretty regularly throughout the year.
Interesting highlights from this evening was the trainer telling the class the two biggest causes of choking in babies is grapes and cherry tomatoes – in that order. There are very few cases of choking though so that should be put into perspective. Our trainer said he’d recently been working with a number of nurseries, who are now cutting the grapes and tomatoes into quarters rather into halves. He said they’re taking the initiative because ‘one can never be too cautious’ and to also soothe parental worries. The advice for parents is to squish them flat before offering them to your child.
We were also told never ever to hold our babies upside down by their feet if they’re choking. Even if you’re so hysterical and think this may be a good idea at the time the baby’s head and neck would be totally unsupported. This dangerous position would also not help at all in dislodging a stuck piece of food.
As I’ve only attended a short course I should state strongly that I am by no means qualified to give medical advice – these are just my experiences from my class tonight. I really do feel the advice we were given tonight though was invaluable. Even if you can’t get a babysitter, take your sleeping baby with you and just park your buggy in a quiet corner of the room – the course is really worth it. There’s also some excellent advice on choking on the St John’s Ambulance website which was recommended as an essential resource. I had a quick look at the site before signing up to the class and was pleased that the trainer made us practice the back blows and abdominal thrusts on plastic dolls until we knew what we were doing.
It was really reassuring to know we were being taught best practice even though I didn’t actually attend a St John’s Ambulance course, but everything we covered was the same as the information on their website and that of the British Red Cross. The trainer also recommended we regularly test our skills online to keep refreshing what we learnt on the course. And finally, apparently this First Aid Manual is an absolute must have for every home with children. It covers how to deal with every emergency and I‘m actually finding that it’s not that bad of a bedtime read.”
*Management of Choking – Children
For all children (above 1 years of age), the management of choking is the same as for an adult:
1. Ask child to cough up obstruction.
2. Give five sharp blows between the shoulder blades
3. Give five chest thrusts.
Management of Choking – Infant (to 1 year)
Lie infant face down on your forearm with head low.
Support infant’s head and shoulders on your hand.
Give 5 sharp blows between shoulders.
Check after each back blow to see if the obstruction has been relieved.
If the blockage is still not cleared, your last resort is ‘chest thrusts’. For infants, this is performed by placing the infant on a firm surface on back. Place two fingers in the CPR compression position and give 5 chest thrusts; slower but sharper than CPR compressions.
· Encourage the casualty to relax and breathe deeply.
· Ask the casualty to cough to remove the object.
· If unsuccessful, place the casualty with the head low.
· Give 5 sharp blows between the shoulder blades.
· As a last resort, try ‘chest thrusts’.
· While waiting for the ambulance, if the blockage has not cleared, repeat back blows and chest thrusts.
· If the casualty becomes unconscious, remove any visible obstruction from mouth and commence CPR.
There’s a really great summary here as well, from BabyCenter.