"Educating Parents to Save Lives"

In the US, over 34 children ages 0-14 visit the emergency department every day for non-fatal choking incidents and over 160 children die each year from choking. Children less than 1 year old account for 38% of these cases. We rely on health professionals to handle these situations, but Emergency Medical Services, like calling 911, is often too far away. It takes only 4 minutes of not breathing to cause permanent brain damage. EMS personnel are often more than 6 ½ minutes away. If the child lives, effects from the lack of oxygen are similar to an adult having a stroke. Cognitive impairments, speech difficulties, visual difficulties and epilepsy (a seizure disorder) and well as damage to other organs can occur after prolonged time without breathing.

If the object is deep enough to still allow the child to breath (i.e. object is in one lung, so the other one can still work), there are still adverse effects that can occur such as pneumonia, atelectasis (collapsing of all or part of the lung) and bronchiectasis (permanent damage and enlargement of parts of the airway).

Given the severe consequences that can occur when a child can no longer breathe from choking, and the less than ideal response time of EMS, ChokingChild.org is seeking to educate parents and other caregivers on what to do should the need arise while waiting for EMS to respond. Once you learn this information, please share with anybody who will be taking care of your child.