It all happened in seconds. I heard my son coughing, which I’ve heard plenty of times in this journey of him learning to eat solids. I know that if he is coughing or gagging that the best thing to do is wait a minute and let him cough up the food by himself. But this, this was different. In a matter of seconds, I heard him cough, heard him make a strangled noise, and I watched his face turn red. My baby couldn’t breathe. He was choking.
My mom and I were sitting at the dinning room table just having a conversation. Logan was holding onto his cracker because he has begun feeding himself small bites of food. Yesterday, he didn’t take a small bite. He shoved the whole cracker into his mouth. I watched him anxiously waiting to see if I needed to dash up and dislodge the food from his throat, but nothing happened. He chewed and swallowed. I begun easing up–relaxing. I thought the danger had passed and that’s when it happened. I swear, it happened in the blink of an eye. I saw him become panicked and I threw him over my arm and gave him a smack on the back. I’d like to say it was perfectly between the shoulder blades like I have been trained to do, but it wasn’t. I was so terrified that my child was in a life and death situation that my stroke fell off to the side, but it did the trick. He spit out the piece of cracker that was caught and then I heard him cry out. He was fine.
I however was not. My blood was pounding in my ears, adrenaline was coursing through my body, I thought I might pass out. I heard my mom tell me I had gone ashen. I can honestly say I’ve never been so scared in my entire life than in that tiny amount of time.
As freaked out as I was, I saved my son’s life. I had been trained to do this during my time as a early childhood educator. If I hadn’t had Infant First Aid/CPR training, I shudder to think of what might’ve happened.
I urge every parent to take a course. In fact, I urge every parent, grandparent, and childcare provider to take a course. Anyone who might be with your little one by themselves, needs to know what to do. The courses aren’t too expensive, some are even offered for free, and they may someday make all the difference in your life.
For my local friends, parents, grandparents, and childcare providers–here are some local listings:
Also, many, if not all hospitals, around town offer First Aid/CPR training.