KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – It’s a busy time for decorating, shopping and entertaining for the holidays – but it’s also important for parents to know that choking and ingestion injuries can be more common for young children around the holidays.
Dr. Shannon Cohen with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital stopped by the WATE 6 On Your Side studios to share more.
Common choking hazards
Holiday related items like ornaments, tinsel, lights, pine needles, wrapping paper, tiny figurines or village display pieces, and even small toys — all have potential to be choking hazards for small children.
Other especially hazardous items
Items that are potential choking hazards can also be especially hazardous – such as:
- Lamp oil
- Household chemicals – especially at homes that are not child proof
What to do:
- Call Poison help AT 800-222-1222, program into cell phone
- Bring child to ER immediately
First Aid for a choking child
If your child begins to choke on an object, there are crucial steps to take to help them:
- Call 911 right away or have someone else call
- Do NOT reach into the mouth to grab object or pat child on the back this could put object further in or make choking worse
- Perform Heimlich maneuver abdominal thrusts
- If child is not breathing, perform CPR
- Seek medical attention
Preventing your child from choking
There are steps you can take to prevent your child from choking or avoid hazardous material that pose choking threats:
- Adult supervision at all times.
- Keep all breakable decorations or those with small parts out of the reach of children.
- Keep all medicines and household chemicals in locked cabinets.
- Ask relatives and friends to put away medicines and chemicals if you are visiting their homes for the holidays.