Northern Ireland news

New animation warns of potential choking hazards for young children

The animation warns parents and guardians of potential choking hazards for young children

A NEW animation warning parents and guardians of potential choking hazards for young children has been unveiled.

The Public Health Agency said the video also provides practical advice on what to do if a child chokes.

Every day around 40 under-fives across Britain and Northern Ireland are rushed to hospital after choking or swallowing something dangerous.

Food is the most likely cause, but small objects and toys can also be risky for young children.

The animation is part of the Home Accident Prevention Strategy in NI, ahead of the start of Child Safety Week on June 7.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said it will "help make parents and carers aware of the potential dangers for children, particularly for those under the age of five".

"I would encourage families to take a few minutes and watch the animation," he said.

Hilary Johnston from the PHA said it is "important to know what to do if your child is choking".

"Coughing is a natural response when something obstructs our airway - if your child is coughing after swallowing an item encourage them to carry on coughing to bring up what they're choking on, but don't leave them alone," she said.

"If your child's coughing isn't effective, they are silent or they can't breathe in properly or speak, call for help immediately. Included in the animation is some first aid advice that can be carried out until help arrives.

"Call 999 if the blockage doesn't come out after trying back blows and either chest or abdominal thrusts. Keep trying this cycle until help arrives. Even if the object has come out, get medical help."

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