Children tend to put objects in their mouth, which may block the airway. Dr. Michael Aubwa, a lecturer at Makerere University College of Health Sciences, says choking is the commonest cause of accidental deaths among children.
The common objects include; nuts and seeds as well scholastic materials like erasers and pen lids. If the object is not removed, death may occur.
Dr. Arnold Nkalubo, an ear, nose and throat consultant at Mulago Hospital, says signs of choking include; coughing, wheezing and breathing difficulty. “When a child is choking, he or she should be rushed to a hospital.
” According to Mulago records, two to three children aged between two and three are diagnosed with choking every week. However, Nkalubo says in most cases, parents whose are choking, do not seek professional help.
Awubwa says first aid includes holding the child with the head upside down or standing behind the child and suddenly pressing the stomach inwards so that the air forces the object out.
Even after the child coughs — an indication that the object is out of the airway — endeavour to take the child to hospital for further investigations.
Compiled by Agnes Kyotalengerire