Choking hazards common during the holidays

Caring For Our Kids

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:

  • Buttons
  • Batteries
  • Alcohol
  • Lamp oil
  • Medication
  • 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.

RELATED: Family celebrates first birthday of infant saved by Jefferson City officers

MORE | View the Caring For Our Kids web page

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