The big kids are in bed (but not likely asleep).
Hubby is in bed putting baby to sleep.
You’re sitting in your favorite chair, watching a few television shows while waiting for said big kids to actually fall asleep so you can go to sleep.
One of said big kids jumps over the baby gate in his doorway (to keep above said baby out of his room) with a frantic look on his face.
You sit up, fully alert, and ask him what is wrong only to realize he either isn’t hearing you or he can’t answer.
He runs to you and as you continue to frantically ask what is wrong, all he can manage out of his mouth is “lego”.
Thoughts are flying through your head as to where this Lego can be; nose, mouth, ear?
Then thoughts of how you are supposed to get it out. What are you to do!?
Finally, he gives a big cough and you see something shoot out of his mouth.
Instead of sleeping, Buddy was playing with his Legos. While trying to get a small, itty bitty piece off of another piece, he used his teeth. When it come loose, it ended up in his throat where he was – for all sense of the word – choking on the Lego piece.
It was then that it hit me that I had no idea he was really choking and that my kids were never taught the universal symbol for choking.
I remember learning the universal symbol for choking in elementary school when a peer was choking. It was made a big deal that everyone know the universal symbol.
Aside from first aid courses, I haven’t seen or heard of the universal symbol for choking and realized that my kids probably didn’t know, but it could save their lives.
It isn’t difficult. In fact, its really easy.
Had Buddy known the symbol for choking, I would have been able to identify his need immediately, but because we hadn’t taught our kids, he didn’t know and there was no other way for me to know that he was choking or what he needed.
So tonight, or tomorrow, remind your kids (or teach them) what the universal symbol for choking is. While you hope it will never happen to you, we never know what tomorrow may bring.