Infant Choking, Suffocation & Strangulation Prevention

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,943
    Dr. Jamie Freishtat, a pediatrician from Safe Kids USA, shows you how to protect your baby from the dangers of choking, suffocation, or strangulation in your home.

    Dr. Jamie Freishtat: Hi! I am Dr. Jamie Freishtat, a pediatrician from Safe Kids USA. Today I am discussing infant safety basics in the home. Now I am going to be talking about chocking, strangulation, and suffocation prevention tips.

    First, let's talk about some ways to prevent chocking. Always supervise an infant or child while he is eating or playing. Never give babies and children any foods which maybe a choking hazard, for example, small, hard, and or round foods. Always consult with the pediatrician beforehand about the appropriate food your child should be eating.

    Use a small parts tester or the inside of a toilet paper role to ensure toys are not so small they pose a choking hazard. Items that are too small should be kept out of reach, locked up. Never assume that your child will not put something in his mouth. Learn infant CPR, call your local hospital, fire station, or Red Cross to find out where it's offered, or ask your pediatrician.

    Now let's move on to suffocation prevention tips. Actively supervise a baby at all times. Always put a baby on its back to sleep. Be sure to follow all recommendations to reduce the risk of SIDS. Remove all pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, really everything from the sleeping environment. A crib should consist of a firm tightly fitting mattress with a tightly fitted sheet and the baby, nothing else, including a bumper. Baby should only sleep in a crib, never on couches, sofas, chairs, or beds. Baby should never play with plastic bags or balloons. Always be sure that babies are playing in well ventilated areas.

    Now let's address window coverings. We recommend replacing all the window coverings with cordless options. This is the safest choice. Cords pose a huge strangulation risk, so the proper precautions must be taken. Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website cpsc.

    gov for more information and windowcoverings.

    org to order free retrofit repair kits if needed. Also, place all furniture such as cribs far away from windows, preferably on windowless walls. Remember, constant adult supervision is always a must.

    Next, let's talk about some strangulation prevention tips. Keep all cords and strings out of reach of your child. Don't allow babies to wear clothing, such as jewelry, purses, scarves, or any lose item of clothing. Be sure your crib has not been recalled, has no missing, loose, or broken parts. It's put together exactly as directed by the manufacturer and meets all the most up-to-date federal safety standards and voluntary safety standards. For example, crib slots should be no more than two and three-eight inches apart and there should be no cutouts.

    Those were some tips on preventing choking, suffocation, and strangulation.