Saturday, October 29, 2011

Terror and Joy

Not the actual coin.
If you read the side of my blog, you'll see that I describe having children as 'bringing joy and terror' to my life.  I meant this in a "not knowing what is going on with my life" kind of way, rather than a "choking on a small coin" kind of way.  Unfortunately this week I got to experience the latter with J.

It was an incredibly frightening experience.  J came running over to me and then started the most awful choking.  I picked her up and struck her on the back between the shoulder blades a few times.  Nothing happened, she just kept choking.  And in that terrible instant, I remembered that children die from choking, and that I might not be able to save her.  I was terrified.  I picked her up and ran towards the phone to call an ambulance.  As I was running the coin dislodged and flew out of her mouth.  Once she recovered from the shock she was fine - I needed to sit down with a cup of tea and some chocolate before I felt okay.

About 4 years ago I did a first aid course.  That's how I knew to strike her on  the back with my hand, and it helped me not to panic.  I can't credit it with saving J because it was a large degree of luck, but it certainly helped.

The moral of this story is twofold.
1) Don't assume your child won't choke, because it really can happen to anyone.
2) Do a first aid course, and if they don't go through what to do with a choking child, ask! St Johns and Red Cross both do first aid courses in NZ

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