A toddler choked on a piece of apple in daycare. As a result of this terrible incident, the child has difficulty speaking and swallowing normally, and he will never walk again.
Neihana Renata from Rotorua, New Zealand, was 14 months old when the tragedy occurred. It happened so quickly and unexpectedly that none of the teachers could react fast enough.
All the children were given small pieces of apples as a snack, but a teacher noticed that Neihana was having trouble breathing because he had apparently choked. Teachers tried to remove the piece apple and giving him mouth-to-mouth. But everything was useless – the child was in cardiac arrest for 30 minutes. His brain didn’t receive sufficient oxygen which led to severe cerebral palsy.
He was taken to the hospital and had to spend two weeks in ICU, with two more months under supervision. However, the doctors couldn’t mitigate the damage sustained by the toddler: now Neihana is unable to talk, eat normally, walk, or move his body.
The Ministry of Education didn’t make this accident public, alert nursery establishments, or re-enforce their guidelines on food safety for infants and young children. That is why Neihana’s parents decided to take the matter into their own hands.
The family brought their story to the media to warn more parents about the dangers of certain foods for children. With public support, they're seeking for the authorities to take appropriate measures in order to make daycare centers and schools safer and avoid future accidents.
To help a choking child, first, you need to check if he or she is conscious. If not, CPR must be performed immediately. See if you can remove the obstruction. If the child is conscious, but can't breathe, the course of action is different.
What to do when a baby under 1 year isn't breathing?
1. Hold the baby face down on your forearm resting on the knee. Keep the baby's torso higher than the head.
2. With your free hand, give the baby 5 firm slaps on the back between the shoulder blades.
3. Carefully turn the baby face up supporting the head and neck. If the blockage is not out yet, move to the next stage.
4. Hold the child on a firm surface (it can still be your forearm resting on the knee). Place two or three fingers in the center of the child's sternum and push quickly up to five times.
5. Repeat the stages of slaps on the back and pushes on the chest until the blockage is removed.
Thanks to Neihana’s story and his parents’ determination, more parents and preschool teachers can make children safer and hopefully prevent such tragedies from happening ever again.
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.