In an Emergency
Since 1990, more than 600 kids have been suffocated by plastic bags, in car trunks, in refrigerators, or as they slept. Even scarier: One child a month strangles to death on a looped window cord. Tragedies like these usually occur because parents simply aren't aware that everyday household objects can pose a serious threat to their child's safety -- and don't know what to do when an accident happens. To protect your kids from strangulation and suffocation, take precautions and review the lifesaving steps below.
In an Emergency
It takes only a few minutes away from a parent's watchful eye for an infant or toddler to get into trouble. If you ever find your child strangling or suffocating, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number and follow these lifesaving steps:
|If your child is...|
|being strangled by a string, ribbon, or miniblind cord||suffocating||caught between crib slats|
|Immediately loosen whatever is around her neck to release the tension. (If she's trapped and hanging from a window-blind cord, pick her up to make the line slack.) If it's wound too tightly, quickly -- but gently -- cut it with scissors, moving your child's neck as little as possible.||Immediately free her from the bedding or stuffed animal covering her mouth, remove the plastic bag from her head, or lift her out of the toy chest or refrigerator.||Do not yank it out. Instead, try to gently maneuver your infant's head and neck so that her oxygen supply is no longer cut off. If she isn't breathing, carefully break the slats to release her. Or use soap or lotion to lubricate her head before gently pushing it out. Try to move your infant's head as little as possible.|
Without moving your child
too much, place her faceup on a flat, firm
surface. Gently tilt her head back with one
hand and lift her chin with the other.
For a child older than 1, pinch her nose and seal your lips over her mouth. Give two slow, full breaths (1 1/2 to 2 seconds each). Continue to give one breath every three seconds until your child is breathing on her own or help arrives and takes over.