When there is plenty of nasal secretion in the airways of a child, breathing difficulties may arise during feeding and in the periods between meals, because some children are unable to open their mouths wide enough once their noses are bunged up. As a child in new born, inhalation difficulties are likely to arise, if there is a mechanical obstruction in the airways. Problems with both inhalation and exhalation can indicate cardiac dyspnea in children. Yet, the most common reasons for choking in children aged one year or older include breathing in a small object, a part of a toy, food or some other object that might block airways, i.e. throat and windpipe. It is also possible that children breathe in vomited material, while being asleep/unconscious.
Generally, choking in children aged one year and older is caused by the obstruction of a child’s airways, which can be divided into two main kinds – mild and severe airway obstruction (Blair-Harmon). Naturally, handling different kinds of choking depends greatly on recognition of them and knowledge of symptoms.
The signs indicating mild airway obstruction are the following: there is a good air exchange in a child’s airways; the child is responsive and coughs forcefully; the child might wheeze between coughs (Blair-Harmon). This type of obstruction is easy to get rid of as there is a good air exchange and apnea is virtually impossible. Thus, it is important to encourage breathing efforts and coughing in children until the foreign object is removed. Moreover, one mustn’t interfere with the attempts to remove the foreign object or perform first aid, yet it is necessary to stay with the child and monitor the situation – the need to call 911 may arise, if mild airway obstruction still persists.
Another – and more serious type of mechanical obstruction is severe airway obstruction that is crucial to be recognized promptly. In this case, there is no