Friday, December 07, 2012

The First Aid decision

One goal I had for this year was to take a course. But, unfortunately, that did not work out. The course I wanted to take was in First Aid, a one-day course at the local college, but I was not able to arrange for it to happen in time. I recently learned the course is going to be offered again in February. However, there is another course I wanted to take that is also in February: Web design. I want to learn how to create web sites so I felt this would help me to learn that.

But, still. I could only take – afford – one course. Which one would it be?

Something that happened today helped me to decide.

While I was eating lunch with Jesse, we started to play around. It was at the end of our lunch – we were almost finished eating – and we just started being silly. I thought he was done chewing his food and that he had swallowed it so I continued to tickle him.

Then I realized he had NOT been done with his food. He had still been chewing it and now, after laughing from my tickling, the food had gone into his throat!

He jumped out of the chair and grasped his throat, his eyes wide. I realized with horror that my son was choking!

I jumped up and started pounding on his back but that didn’t work. That! Did! Not! Work!

I started to panic. I don’t know the Heimlich maneuver! And how do you use it on a preschooler?

I was freaking out and screaming for Jesse to breathe or swallow or SOMETHING!

Finally, I remembered something that my husband told me to do when someone was choking. Don’t bang on their back; bang on their chest instead.

So I turned Jesse around and gently thumped his chest. It was hard to keep myself from crying because he was clutching his neck and turning blue! But finally he got the food loose and it went down. Thank God!

I was so scared after that. That was the first time my kids had nearly choked as bad as that and the first time Jesse has almost choked on food. (Once, as a toddler, Jennifer nearly choked on a Lifesaver but fortunately I was able to help her.) I know that time is of the essence in a situation like that and I just can’t get over how I had not been able to help my son when his life was in danger. I was scared to death but also mad at myself. Why couldn’t I have helped him sooner?

So, after this incident, I have decided what course I will be taking next year. First Aid. Definitely First Aid. Definitely.

I think that is a course every parent should take.

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