Nikki Jurcutz, senior life support paramedic and chief executive of Australian parenting organisation Tiny Hearts Education, said choking was the first thing she was asked about by new parents

Nursing mum-of-two reveals ‘huge’ choking hazard every parent needs to know

A caregiver and mother share a ‘little-known’ choking hazard to watch out for after your party, calling it an ‘easy to miss’ thing

Nikki Jurcutz, senior life support paramedic and chief executive of Australian parenting group Tiny Hearts Education, said choking was the first thing she was asked about by new parents.

In one of her latest TikTok videos, Nikki points out how dangerous leftover balloon rubber can be and how easily it can get trapped in a child’s throat.

In one of her latest TikTok videos, Nikki points out how dangerous leftover balloon rubber can be and how easily it can get trapped in a child's throat

Nikki Jurcutz, senior life support paramedic and chief executive of Australian parenting organisation Tiny Hearts Education, said choking was the first thing she was asked about by new parents

“I had a birthday party recently and I found this part of the balloon while I was cleaning up… These are huge choking hazards and you need to be extra careful around the balloon,” she said.

‘As you can imagine, when it gets stuck, it’s almost impossible to try to recover it by fighting back. So be super vigilant.

While choking is dangerous and potentially fatal, you can learn what to do and how to prevent it with a few simple rules.

A caregiver shared with a mother her simple 'squeeze test' for identifying choking hazards, and she promises familiarity with it could save your child's life (Photo by Nikki Jurcutz)

A caregiver shared with a mother her simple ‘squeeze test’ for identifying choking hazards, and she promises familiarity with it could save your child’s life (Photo by Nikki Jurcutz)

Nikki says the first thing you need to know about choking is a

Nikki says the first thing you need to know about choking is a

Nikki says the first thing you need to know about choking is a “squeeze test,” which basically determines if the finger food you’re going to give your child is safe (pictured)

1. “Squeeze Test”

Nikki says the first thing you need to know about choking is a “squeeze test,” which basically determines if the finger food you’re going to give your child is safe.

To try the squeeze test yourself, Nikki recommends that you simply “pinch the food between your index finger and thumb.”

“This mimics the pressure of a toothless kid’s gums,” Nicky says on the Tiny Hearts website.

“If the food squishes easily, it means it’s safe for the little one to chew.

“If it doesn’t flatten easily, you should cook, grind or mash it so it’s soft enough to pass the test.”

Nikki demonstrates how the test works in real life, including common foods you might want to try with your baby, including avocado, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, apples, and cucumbers.

While softer foods like bananas, eggs, and avocados are easy to mash to the touch, foods like apples and cucumbers won’t break down no matter how hard you try.

“This is great information to help with solids,” commented one person below Nikki’s video.

The second hack Nikki swears by is the

The second hack Nikki swears by is the

The second hack Nikki swears by is the “choke check hack,” another great way to see if something is right for a 0-3 year old (pictured)

2. “Choke Check Hack”

The second hack Nikki swears by is the “choke check hack,” which is another great way to see if something is right for 0-3 year olds.

To try this out, Nikki recommends dropping various items through the holes you created with your index finger and thumb.

The food she fell from the hole included cherries, popcorn, grapes, $1 coins and other toys.

“This is how I check if food or small items may be a choking hazard to my baby,” Nicky wrote.

‘This circle is about the size of the airway of a child aged 0-3. If there’s anything that can fit into this hole, it’s a choking hazard.

There are three foods that are more likely to cause choking than others, says Nikki: round, slippery and hard foods, which need to be modified to be safe (pictured)

There are three foods that are more likely to cause choking than others, says Nikki: round, slippery and hard foods, which need to be modified to be safe (pictured)

There are three foods that are more likely to cause choking than others, says Nikki: round, slippery and hard foods, which need to be modified to be safe (pictured)

3. “Conformance Testing”

Finally, paramedics like to use what is commonly called a “conformance test.”

Three food types are more likely to cause choking than others: round, smooth and hard foods, Nikki said.

If you have something wrong, you can grind it up (pictured) or keep it in the dorm

If you have something wrong, you can grind it up (pictured) or keep it in the dorm

“Think grapes, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, nuts, raw carrots, apples, popcorn, chewing gum, coins, marbles and batteries,” she said.

“The more round, firm or slippery an object is, the greater the risk of choking.”

To prevent the risk of suffocation, Nikki says you can modify the food to make round foods less round and slippery ones less slippery.

For example, you can quarter or dice grapes lengthwise, or roll slippery foods like avocados in fine breadcrumbs and cook carrots to make them less tough.

You should also always ensure that your child is in a safe eating environment so that they are always safe and secure in a high chair within arm’s reach.

Facts about choking and what to do revealed

Choking occurs when something gets stuck in a person’s throat or windpipe, partially or completely blocking the flow of air to their lungs.

In adults, choking usually occurs when a piece of food enters the windpipe rather than the food tube. Babies and young children can choke on any battery smaller than a D-size battery.

Sometimes the windpipe is only partially blocked. If the person can still breathe, they may push the object out by coughing hard. Be careful not to do anything that pushes the blockage further into the windpipe, such as banging the patient on their back while they are upright.

If the object completely severes the airway and the person is unable to breathe, it is now a medical emergency. The brain can only survive for a few minutes without oxygen.

Symptoms include covering the throat, difficulty breathing, and blue lips.

For children over one year old and adults who are choking, you should try to keep the person as calm as possible. Ask them to cough to remove the object, and if that doesn’t work, dial three zeros (000). Bend the person forward and give them up to 5 hard blows with the heel of one hand on the back between the shoulder blades. After each blow, check to see if the blockage has cleared.

If the blockage is not cleared after 5 blows, place one hand in the middle of the person’s back for support. Place the heel of your other hand on the lower half of your sternum (central part of your chest). Press the chest hard with a quick upward thrust, as if you were trying to lift someone up. After each thrust, check that the blockage has cleared. If the blockage does not clear after 5 thrusts, continue alternating 5 backstrokes and 5 chest thrusts until medical assistance arrives.

resource: healthy direct

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