Wednesday, March 31

Noah has his uses

Monday night Ethan choked on a piece of peach.

I was standing right next to him. He was sitting in his high chair, eating bits of peach slices I had cut up for him. Ethan has been known to fake-choke (and fake-cry...and fake-laugh...), so we don't panic immediately when we hear the sound. We look at him to assess the situation, then take action as necessary. Until Monday, the necessary action was always saying, "Ethan, please don't fake-choke. That's not funny."

In a matter of seconds, we realized he was truly choking—not making any noise, meaning his airway was completely blocked—I whipped him out of his high chair and Noah flipped him to perform the infant Heimlich. I'm so glad Noah was home and right there, because I started to panic. I don't know how things would have played out if I had been alone.

Noah, on the other hand, supported our little 28-pounder on his forearm, head facing the floor, and with the heel of his hand firmly struck between Ethan's shoulder blades while calmly talking to him. After several blows to the back (which Noah later explained caused a cough-like expulsion of air from Ethan's lungs each time), Ethan made the choke sound again. A few more blows and he coughed out the piece of peach and some throw up.

Ethan didn't cry, but he was very subdued for several minutes afterward. I, of course, did cry.

There are many lessons to take from this—such as "always be prepared" and "feed your children pureed foods exclusively until the age of 18"—but it reminded me of how important Noah is not just to our family but to the community as a trained first responder.

Although he hasn't been on the streets in a few months, his skills and abilities are still crucial. If you've ever had to call the police or an ambulance in an emergency, you'll certainly agree. The work he's doing now, though, is just as important. A few weeks ago a parent at one of his schools sought him out to thank him: After one of his lessons, her kindergartner felt confident enough to reveal that she had been molested by an older boy.

Today's call to action: Hug your babies and thank a first-responder. You might could hug a first-responder, but you might also get a cloud of pepper spray to the face. (They don't like sudden movements.)


Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

That is the scariest thing. A few years ago my son who was about 13 years old at the time started choking on a deep friend mozzarella stick. We were in a restaurant. I figured out pretty quickly what was happening and did the Heimlich on him over and over until it finally came out. I then immediately fell apart, started crying and had to leave the restaurant. One of the scariest days of my life. My husband was the one who was stunned and didn't know what to do. That is why children need two parents!! God Bless the job that your husband does and so glad Ethan is fine. And no Mozzarella sticks in Ethan's future!!

stephanie said...

i'm so glad to hear ethan is okay. are you okay? way to go noah!

Meadowlark said...

Glad for a good outcome. Couple of more lessons: go take infant CPR again so you don't choke (no pun intended) under pressure. And you now how the PERFECT segue into "why mommy always told you not to pretend to choke".

Look for the good in things :)

Catherine said...

Scary stuff. What a useful man you have there! I'm sure you'd have sorted it out too but your instinct to defer to the more experienced first aider was absoluately the right thing to do, well done.

Cup of hot tea?

Slamdunk said...

Glad your scary story finished with the best ending possible. That should keep the Mr. out of the doghouse for a few days at least.

Judy Haley (CoffeeJitters.Net) said...

goodness, so happy everything turned out ok. I had to heimlich someone once. it's kind of a surreal experience.

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