It isn’t uncommon for children to get a variety of objects stuck in their esophagus or windpipe. Curiosity is a common trait among children, but luckily there are ways to keep them safe from this danger according to pediatric surgeon Dr. Saad Saad. Dr. Saad Saad has performed surgeries to extract objects stuck in the throat from children as old as 14 years and as young as 6 months.
Younger children are in the most danger when it comes to swallowing foreign objects. They just haven’t developed the preservation skills that adults and older children have. It can be tough to be a parent trying to keep their children safe, but thankfully these objects usually pass through the digestive system without any complications.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and sometimes medical intervention is required.
If you notice that your child is having problems swallowing or breathing, it might be a sign that they have something lodged in their throat. Dr. Saad Saad insists that the most important thing to remember is to not panic about the situation. There are things that you can do to dislodge the object before medical help arrives.
Many community centers and other organizations offer classes on both the Heimlich Maneuver as well as CPR. Dr. Saad Saad suggests all parents take the time to get certified. The process to dislodge objects varies greatly depending on the age and size of the child with an obstruction. It’s important to know how to do it properly to prevent any further complications or injuries. The first rule, no matter the age, is to never try to dislodge the foreign object with your fingers. According to Dr. Saad Saad, this can push the object down further and make it harder to remove.
If the child is under 6 years of old, performing the tradition Heimlich Maneuver can break ribs and damage the lungs if done improperly. They are much more susceptible to injury than older children. In this case, to dislodge the object the child must be held upside down by their feet while they are firmly patted on the back. In most cases, the object will dislodge fairly quickly and not cause any permanent damage.
Preventing choking is just as important as knowing what to do if it happens. Dr. Saad Saad suggests avoiding certain foods like grapes or hot dogs when it comes to younger children. If a parent decides to give these food items to their children, it’s important to cut them into smaller pieces that cannot become lodged in the trachea or esophagus. Some of the most interesting items that Dr. Saad Saad has had to remove from children include the typical coins, jewelry, and toys, but also larger items like an entire toothbrush! Learn more : https://www.doximity.com/pub/saad-saad-md