“Just as Kevin took a bite of his hot dog, his friend Peter made a goofy face and it cracked Kevin up. But it's hard to laugh and swallow food at the same time. A piece of the hot dog slipped down Kevin's throat and got stuck. He couldn't talk, he couldn't breathe - he couldn't make any sound at all...”
Yes. That’s how it goes. I would say that’s the premise of most everyone’s choking experiment. Replace “bite”, “hot dog”, and “throat” with “drink”, “grape soda”, and “nose” you have the story of my childhood. Choking happens when your epiglottis doesn’t close in time to block food from entering the tracea (opening to the lungs) versus your esophagus (opening to your stomach).
Thanks to Dr. Henry Heimlich’s 1974 discovery, there’s a solution to this choking problem. But what about preventing it? Read on…
- Be careful eating foods that are easy to choke. Those include: hot dogs, nuts, grapes, raw carrots, popcorn, and hoard or gooey candy.
- Sit down while you eat, take small bites, and don’t talk with your mouth full. Like mama said.
- Look out for the little guys and gals. Babies and toddlers often put things in their mouths (and noses) so make sure objects that are easy to choke are out of reach. Such as: deflated balloons, pen caps, beads, batteries, small toy parts, candy, and coins.
- Learn the Heimlich Manuever.
- If the Heimlich doesn’t perform CPR or have someone perform CPR or call 911 for paramedics.
Lest you think choking is unimportant, more than
17,000 children ages 14 years or younger were treated for choking episodes in
U.S. emergency departments, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), AND about 60 percent of these episodes were related to food
items. Chew on that. (wa ha ha)