Thursday, February 19, 2009

Being Prepared Helps Avoid a Choking Incident

"Be prepared." ~ Boy Scout motto

Recently, I had the opportunity to use something I never expected to need, the Heimlich maneuver. It happened one evening, while the family was watching TV. Our four year old daughter was eating a piece of chewy candy and started coughing. I asked her if she was OK, but she could barely manage a whisper. I anxiously asked her to say something to me, and she barely could wheeze out a couple words.

Although she appeared OK, I decided to grab her and gently used the Heimlich maneuver. After the second squeeze, a small piece of candy popped into her mouth. I took it out, intending to throw it away. However, our daughter wasn't going to give up a piece of candy and wanted to continue eating it. I gave it back to her, with instructions to let it melt in her mouth, and she finished it without incident. We finished our evening activities and put her to bed.

While I felt I did the right thing, I wasn't really sure that I had helped. However, later that week, our daughter told my spouse that the candy had made it hard for her to breath, i.e. she really had been close to choking. So I'm glad I did what I did.

In the words of Mastercard, price of being prepared by learning the Heimlich maneuver - $0. The value of executing it correctly - priceless.

For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

This is not financial or health advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2009 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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