IF you're planning to throw a birthday bash for your little one, there's no doubt you expect your house to be overrun with youngsters for a good few hours.
Celebrations often serve as an excuse to spoil your child and their friends with all sorts of sweet treats and toys.
But first aiders have warned that some popular foods are best left out of the party, as they could put your tot and their guests at risk of choking.
And the birthday spread isn't all you have to think about, according to the team of paediatric nurses behind CPR Kids.
There are also toys and gadgets that you'd do well to leave out of the party bag you give out at the end.
The child and baby first aid experts shared their top tips for choking prevention when hosting little ones in a recent Instagram post, pinpointing foods you should avoid serving and items to leave out of the loot bag.
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- Lollipops and hard, round sweets
- Bouncy balls
- Uninflated balloons
- Toys with small pieces
- Anything containing button batteries
You should avoid giving marshmallows and popcorn to young children at all costs, as their size and texture makes them easy to choke on, CPR Kids said.
And don't give children hard, round lollipops to eat or offer them in the party bag, the page added.
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According to the NHS, hard boiled sweets could also be dangerous to little ones, as are raw jelly cubes.
When it comes to grapes and sausages, how you prepare them is key.
You should chop the grapes into quarters, CPR Kids noted, and slice whole sausages and hot dogs into quarters lengthwise.
But it's important to never cut sausages into coin-like pieces, child and first aid education page Tiny Hearts Education recently emphasised, as that size and shape could plug a child's airway completely.
Away from the food table, there are other things to consider.
Though you might not think it, bouncy balls, uninflated balloons and toys with small pieces could also put little ones at risk of choking.
And as for button batteries, their small size means a child could swallow them – and they can cause severe internal burns when ingested.
Paramedics recently shared a little-known trick to save children is they accidentally swallow a button battery, involving honey.
What to do if a child chokes
IF a child is choking, it’s important to act quickly.
The NHS says if the child is coughing, encourage them to continue as they may be able to bring the object up. Don't leave them alone while this is happening.
But if their coughing is silent, they can't breathe properly or they don't bring anything up, get help immediately.
Use back blows on your tot if they're still conscious.
1. Cough it out
- Encourage the casualty to keep coughing, if they can
2. Slap it out
- Lean them forwards, supporting them with one hand
- Give five sharp back blows between the shoulder blades
- Check their mouth each time but do not put your fingers in their mouth
3. Squeeze it out
- Stand behind them with your arms around their waist, with one clenched fist between their belly button and the bottom of their chest
- Grasp the fist in the other hand and pull sharply inwards and upwards, giving up to five abdominal thrusts
- Check their mouth each time
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