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Childhood safety: How to prevent asphyxiation in children

Nearly all choking, suffocation and strangulation deaths and injuries in babies and toddlers are preventable.

Childhood strangulation is a horrid topic to discuss, but accidents can, and sometimes do, happen, which is why it’s important for parents to know the dangers and keep their children safe.

According to Children’s Safety Network, the term “asphyxiation” includes suffocation, choking, and strangulation, all of which can result in death and permanent brain damage for children whose internal or external airways are blocked by foreign objects, such as food, coins, window blind cords, or even blankets.

Safety tips for babies and toddlers

To keep your kids safe and avoid strangulation hazards, here are a few safety tips:

  • Only put your baby to sleep in a cot that meets all of the current safety standards and remove any item that could pose a choking or strangulation hazard.
  • encourage your kids not to place things around their necks, such as a jump rope, since they can get caught on something, tighten, and pose a strangulation hazard.
  • Never tie a pacifier or other item around your infant or toddler’s neck.
  • Don’t dress your children in clothing with long hood or neck drawstrings, since they can get caught on something, tighten, and pose a strangulation hazard. Remove the drawstrings or buy clothing with straps or velcro, or buttons instead.
  • Keep your child’s bed/cot away from any hanging cords, including a window blind cord, baby monitor electrical cord or even wall decorations with ribbons or streamers that could pose a strangulation hazard.
  • Never leave ropes or cords hanging around the house.
  • Only let your kids play with age-appropriate toys.
  • Remove hanging cot toys from your child’s cot before he/she is able to pull to a standing position.
  • Avoid letting your kids play on outdoor playground equipment that has cargo netting with netting large enough for your child’s head to fit through.

It is also important to learn CPR and keep emergency numbers by the phone in case of an emergency. This YouTube video may be helpful. Click here.  

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