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November 2018 Newsletter


    Choking Awareness

Choking is a very serious concern.  It takes only a few precious minutes for serious damage to occur as a result of a blocked airway causing a lack of oxygen to the brain.  It can effect kids and adults alike, and happens in a blink of an eye.  We encourage you to visit with your staff and volunteers about the choking dangers associated with food, toys and other objects.

Be trained, be aware and stay vigilant. 

Take the time to train volunteers and staff in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver, and prepare them to call 911. During fellowship meals, people may be more focused on talking, laughing and engaging with each other.  Great!  But, those distractions may result in not chewing properly and swallowing wrong leading to a blocked airway.  Direct the staff and volunteers to scan the room often for signs of a person in distress.  A choking victim will likely not be able to yell for help.  Act quickly and intervene to help save a choking victim. 

Kids are particularly vulnerable to choking.  Teachers, staff and volunteers should be extra careful and well-trained in child choking prevention.  Dense, sticky and large sized foods are serious concerns.  Sit with kids in an area with no distractions while they eat.  Encourage them to take small bites and be conscientious of chewing well before swallowing.  Cut and prepare snacks and food into tiny manageable pieces.  Watch for signs of choking;  never take your eyes off them during snack and meal times.

Young kids also love to put stuff in their mouth.  Not a food item, not a problem!  But, yes it is!  Talk to your nursery staff, daycare/afterschool providers and teachers about room hazards.  A simple hair clip, pen cap, paper clip, loose change and other mundane everyday items are concerns.  It is important to stay vigilant and notice tiny items that are at eye level for kids. 

Also, stay true to the manufacturer’s age recommendations on toys.  If a toy is labeled for older children, there is a good reason.  It is likely that parts, pieces and sections of the toy may cause choking hazards for those outside of the age range.  Be aware, organize and separate the kids and toys according to age. 




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