The Night I Gave My Daughter The Heimlich
There’s no shortage of fear-mongering on the internet. Thousands of articles and blogs and interviews telling us of things that should terrify us. So many of those things are of no substance, no consequence, and of no value to you or anyone else.
That is not what this is.
This a warning about something that does happen — and happens often. If your child began to choke, would you know what to do? Not in a hypothetical sense. But would you really and truly know what to do, how to react, AND be able to stay calm? I hope the answer is yes. But for many of us? It’s probably no. Tonight, during an evening snack, I had to perform the Heimlich maneuver (or abdominal thrusts as they are often called) on my sweet, charming, and funny three year old daughter.
She and her big sister were eating Ritz crackers at the kitchen table. They were laughing and singing while I cleaned the living room and their dad put away laundry in the next room. My back was to the table as I listened to the chatter and the TV in the background. Suddenly, the table was quiet. I heard a ragged squeak across the room. It was this noise, the small amount of air that my daughter was able to force around the cracker before it completely occluded her airway, that tipped me off. I turned to see her round face turning deep red. Her eyes became huge, and her hands frantically clawed at the inside of her mouth as she tried to clear her throat.
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Torrey Swan is a former pediatric nurse who now spends most of her time chasing two red-headed daughters. Her favorite hobby is cooking with a proclivity for mexican food and margaritas. She has resided in Nashville since the age of 11 and has been married to her husband, a Blackhawk pilot for the Army, since 2008.