Would you know what to do if your child started choking?
Thankfully, Jennifer Hull of Prosper, Texas did. This stay-at-home mom credits taking a hospital infant safety class with saving the life of her choking 1-year-old daughter. And the entire ordeal was caught on video by the family’s nanny cam.
It all started with little Hollis and her 3-year-old sister, Hatilynn, munching on veggie chips while playing with their dollhouse. Hull was fiddling with the TV in her daughters’ play room when Hollis started choking. The frantic, blue-faced toddler gasped for air and ran over to her mom, who quickly jumped into action. She immediately slapped Hollis’ back, to no results. That’s when she decided to perform the Heimlich maneuver, which finally expelled the snack from her daughter’s throat. In the video, below, you can the nerve-wracking scene play out.
“We were both so shocked at how scary it really was,” Hull told ABC News. “It’s even scarier when we think of what the outcome could have been.”
The video ended up attracting attention at the national level after the family decided to post it to Facebook.
“At first I was reluctant to share the actual footage of her choking because it’s so personal,” Hull said, noting they changed their minds because of encouragement from friends and family, who said it might help other parents.
I had a similar experience with my middle child when she was about 18 months old. My toddler was enjoying a frozen chocolate-covered banana on a stick while I was sitting with her at our dining room table. She was happily licking away, until she decided to take a bite and a chunk of frozen banana become stuck in her tiny throat. I gave a couple of blows to her back, but it was clear she couldn’t breathe. So I ended up doing the Heimlich maneuver. It took several thrusts, but I was finally able to dislodge the treat. She was crying, but otherwise OK. I was shaking badly and very distraught.
Since that incident, I’ve been extra diligent about prevention. I cut foods like grapes, hot dogs and pretty much anything else iffy-looking into teeny, tiny pieces. And even though I thought it was OK because I was right there next to her, things like frozen bananas are now a big, fat “no.”
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