View Full Version : What to do if your child chokes whilst in a cast

12th July 2006, 05:50 PM
Hi all,

I know that Andrea worries about Erin choking on sweets etc whilst in her cast, so I asked my mother for any advice.

She said that it never crossed her mind that I might choke :roll: but when I pressed her as to what she'd have done, she said she'd have held me upside down so gravity would help to dislodge the blockage, and slapping me between the shoulder blades would still be quite effective although it would really kill her hand :hammer:

I'm quite freaked out actually as my mother told me that between the ages of 1 and 4 I used to wear really high casts that came up round my ears and chin and prevented me from turning my head. I have NO recollection of this, and there are no photos of it either. I used to see kids in hospital with those tall casts but never, ever knew I had worn one myself as a tot. Blimey!

Toni xx

12th July 2006, 09:01 PM
This is something that really freaks me out as well, the only thing I could come up was turning Niamh upside down as well. Niamh is having her cast changed tomorrow I will ask on the hospital if they have any other suggestions and let you know!

14th July 2006, 06:55 PM
there is only one logical answer and that is to not give them any sweets they potentially can choke on, which should be the same as for any child, cast or not. Bad for their teeth anyway.........

14th July 2006, 09:02 PM
Good advice Gerbo; trouble is, a child can potentially choke on anything. And having scoliosis as a child is rubbish enough without being banned from eating sweets too :-(

15th July 2006, 11:41 AM
Toni's right, I do worry about it a lot. In fact it was the first thing I thought of when I learned she was going into a cast. The second thing I thought of was how to do CPR (such a cheery thinking mother obviously). We did actually consider getting some of those shears they use in the plaster theatre so we could cut the cast off in an emergency.

I don't give her anything like boiled sweets or anything obvious she can choke on, but apparently more children choke on bananas than anything else! She did choke on a grape once (at the childminder's, so I didn't have the experience) and she now won't touch them, so she understands the importance of it. I don't think you can avoid everything that they can possibly choke on though - it's impossible.

Hope the cast change went well Nicola. We're not in until the end of August now - hurrah!!

29th August 2006, 11:47 PM
Meant to update this a while ago. I did ask and the nurse I spoke to went off to research the topic and came back to me. Now I am repeating what she siad to me from memory so any inaccuracies are mine :-P

If the child is coughing leave her be unless she stops coughing or the coughing becomes laboured or prolonged. Most blockages will be cleared by coughing.

If she stops coughing:
1. Call for help
2. Turn upside down, if this does not work
3. Lay face down on your knees and slap quite hard between shoulder blades (Niamh's cast ends just below shoulderblades, this may not be the same for everyone) The aim here is to wind her to force the air out of lungs to clear blockage.
4. If you do manage tp clear the blockage it is a good idea to get child assessed by AE/DR anyway to ensure no damage has been caused.

In the very unlikely event that she stops breathing, carry out emergency breathing until ambulance arrives. There is probably no point in trying to do chest compressions but do keep breathing.

30th August 2006, 10:29 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/first_aid_acti.../hs_choke.shtml (http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/first_aid_action/hs_child/hs_choke.shtml)

this is a nice little interactive guide

note that the first to try are 5 backslaps, which I would have thought could well be similarly effective if hitting on the cast high on the back.

Next would be chest thrusts, which would be impossible with a cast on, but abdominal thrusts might be possible (depending on how low the cast goes)

I think that on balance your child is not at any higher risk than children without a cast, simply because most people are likely to be plain ignorant about what to do, at least you have thought about it and have your options available.

The "risk" of the cast in this respect might well be ofset by potential benefits. In case of any trafficaccident the child with the cast might well be better protected from chest/ abdominal injuries.

Laura's one perceived advantage when she was wearing her TSLO was that if anybody would try to stab her (children can have irrational fears) she would be perfectly safe.

30th August 2006, 11:38 AM
i'm really not sure i would give a small child abdominal thrusts, it's chest slaps for them for a reason but i guess being in a cast is extenuating circumstances and the priority is to stop them from choking. i think i'll stick with hoping it never happens to any of the children around here!

30th August 2006, 12:46 PM
i think i'll stick with hoping it never happens to any of the children around here

agree, most important is to realise these are rare events, this article http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_...13/ai_n15914522 (http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4153/is_20051213/ai_n15914522) quotes 100/year in the uk (half of which age 1-5) and gives first aid advice as well

18th September 2006, 06:39 AM
How interesting that 30+ years later, my mother's question is still unanswered. She was worried about me choking while in my cast, too. Fortunately, she was never tested.