Heimlich maneuver and children: what it is, what it is used for and how to do it

Source: Shutterstock

Does the baby suddenly find it hard to breathe or even stop breathing? If the little one has inhaled a small object or a candy or something else has gone wrong, there may beobstruction of the airways. How to behave then?

In case it is an obstruction complete (the total), it is advisable to carry out the unblocking maneuver. If the child is over one year of age, it is possible to practice the Heimlich maneuver. Here's what exactly it is. The information is also taken from the book How to feed my child (Editions LSWR 2022) by the pediatrician Alberto Ferrando, president of the Ligurian pediatricians association and first aid instructor BLSD.

Read also: Pediatric unblocking: how to behave

Heimlich maneuver, what it is

The Heimlich maneuver is a first aid technique that serves to remove aairway obstruction. The name of this technique derives from the American doctor Henry Heimlich, who first, in 1974, described the maneuver in detail.

The procedure can also be performed without having specific skills in medicine, but, in this case, it is always necessary call the emergency room, thanks to which the person who will carry out the maneuver will be able to have references. However, it is possible to learn it by following ad hoc courses.

It is very important to know that the Heimlich maneuver should not be performed on children under one year of age.

Read also: Children and the risk of suffocation: 4 tips to prevent

Heimlich's maneuver, what's the point?

If you notice that the child (or the adult) cannot breathe, cough, cry or speak (therefore, no air passes) and if you see that he puts his hands around his neck changing color, in this case, if the small is still conscious, one needs to be implemented anti-suffocation maneuver, which can be that of Secretly.

La Heimlich maneuver it serves to make sure that the object (or whatever) that has blocked the airways is expelled.

Read also: Choking Babies: 21 Tips for Preparing Food

Heimlich maneuver, how it is practiced

To carry out the Heimlich maneuver it is necessary to place a hand clenched into a fist between the breastbone and navel and grasp one's fist with the other hand; then you have to carry out 5 firm compressions under the breastbone by pushing the baby's abdomen upwards (ie towards yourself and upwards, with a movement called "spoon").

In practice, a series of deep and rapid pressures are exerted on the abdominal area, below the breastbone and above the navel, of the child with the obstruction, then bringing the push upwards. This action compresses the lungs, pushing the obstructing object into the trachea and thus pulling it out.

Therefore, it is necessary to continue with the maneuvers, until the child expels the foreign body and resumes breathing. If the little one loses consciousness, the sequence of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. If you don't know it well (having taken a special course), the 112 operator will guide you through the sequence.

What NOT to do

  • Do not put your fingers or other objects down the throat to grab the foreign body or make the child vomit. You risk pushing the choking object even lower;
  • Do not grab the baby by the feet to put him upside down;
  • Do not do the anti-suffocation maneuver if the obstruction is partial.

If the child is under one year of age

If the child is less than one year old, the Hemlich maneuver cannot be performed. However, if he has a total obstruction, place him face down on your forearm, supporting his back and head. Afterwards:

  • practice 5 interscapular pats with open palm;
  • if the pats do not resolve the obstruction, turn the child on his back and perform 5 deep compressions (but not more than 4 cm) on the sternum, with the tips of two fingers;

Continue with the maneuvers until the infant expels the foreign body and resumes breathing or until he loses consciousness. In this case, you have to start the cardiopulmonary resuscitation sequence. If you don't know it well (having taken a special course), the 112 operator will guide you through the sequence.

Read also: How to cut food to prevent choking 9 PHOTOS

How to cut food to prevent choking

go to the gallery

How to prevent children from suffocation? A campaign, "SicurezzAtavola", which was presented in 2022 at Expo with the Ministry of Health, provides for the diffusion ...

  • pediatric unblocking
  • 1-2 children years
add a comment of Heimlich maneuver and children: what it is, what it is used for and how to do it
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.