Think Fast | What to do if a child is choking!

Summer means more cook-outs and an increased risk for choking – especially in children.

In a CBS 21 4-part series this month called “Think Fast!” – we go to the experts for advice on what to do in an emergency.

This week, Susquehanna Township Emergency Services shows us the best way to react if a child is choking.

When children are playing – laughter and screams of joy are the sounds we want to hear.

But the fun can quickly turn to fright if a child’s airway gets obstructed and they start to choke.

In some choking emergencies, they won’t make a sound at all.

Chief Matthew Baily, Director & Chief of Susquehanna Twp EMS says when they can’t make any sound, that means the “Airway is occluded, means it’s blocked by food in this case. So he’s not getting any air into his lungs.”

Susquehanna Township Parks and Rec Summer Day Camp is the perfect place for this demonstration.

EMT Earl Hoon is going to come to the rescue of 10 year old Braylen Scott.

Ordinarily, the camp staff would jump into action since they are trained in CPR, but we’re using EMT’s for this segment.

In fact, Chief Baily says a majority of choking emergencies can be handled by someone already on scene performing the Heimlich maneuver.

Chief Baily says, “It’s time sensitive. So, if they do that right away, you can usually get the situation resolved by the time EMS arrives.”

We also asked 7 year old Talia to pretend to choke, because she’s smaller than Braylen and that does affect how you approach CPR.

EMT Chris Wright gets on his knees so he can locate Talia’s belly button and start the Heimlich thrusts just above that area.

Training is key.

Chief Baily says training prepares you to not panic.

Which is very difficult especially if you know the child.

When you stop, breath and think fast – the chances for a positive outcome improve.