One moment a dad was watching his daughter munching on a snack and, in the few seconds it took to turn to the sink and back, she was already gasping for air, choking. It was what happened to Canadian dad Justin Morrice and his baby girl. He shared the story on Facebook.
“As I sit here still shaking, I'm posting this as a reminder to ALL parents of small children... Please always read labels on the foods we feed them,” he wrote on the post.
It started when he put down a can of cheesy puffs for babies in front of his daughter. He turned for a moment to rinse a bowl in the sink, and, when he turned back, his baby was already choking. “She was trying to cry but no sound was coming out,” he said.
He turned her over and slapped her back repeatedly. But when he turned her back around, her lips had already turned blue. “I panicked and did the only thing I could think of... I rammed my finger into her mouth and down her throat and was able to squish the cheesie enough that the next thing I heard was the sweetest sound in the world... her crying.”
After more back blows, the cheese snack was finally dislodged, and he was able to sweep it out of her mouth. “It was the longest and scariest [minute] of my life,” he wrote.
He explained that he had fed his daughter the snack a few days before without any problem. So what went wrong? It was the fine print on the can. There was a warning on the label that said “Use within 5 days after removing seal for optimal freshness.”
The snack, if eaten as soon as it was opened, would have an easy-to-crumble texture, which was the case the first time Justin's daughter ate it. A few days later, however, it already became makunat and difficult to break into pieces, similar to hard foam. Justin explained that he doesn’t blame the manufacturer in any way, but wanted to spread awareness to parents to always read warning labels, including those in small letters. His post has now been shared over 31,000 times.
Though gripped with fear and panic, Justin had the presence of mind and quick wits to administer first aid to his baby, ultimately saving her life. He said that he remembered the steps on how to save a choking baby from lessons that were taught to him, which highlights the importance of learning and taking to heart different first aid techniques, especially for parents of small children.
As instructed by Red Cross, here’s how to give first aid to a choking baby:
1. Give up to five back blows. Hold the baby face down along your thigh with their head lower than their bottom. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades up to five times. If back blows do not dislodge the object, move on to step two.
2. Give up to five chest thrusts. Turn the baby over so they are facing upwards and place two fingers in the middle of their chest just below the nipples. Push sharply downwards up to five times.
3. Call for help if the object does not dislodge.
In addition, the National Health Service of the U.K. provides this tip: “If you can see the object, try to remove it. Don’t poke blindly or repeatedly with your fingers. You could make things worse by pushing the object further in and making it harder to remove.”
Click here for more first aid techniques for babies.