Tag Archives: First Aid

  • First Aid for Choking

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    This post is part of a series related to First Aid knowledge and skills. Join us in learning about First Aid, and lend your experiences and knowledge to the discussion!


    As a follow-up to Monday’s intro, I thought it would be fitting for the first installment in our series to address First Aid for choking.

    If you’ve ever choked on something, even momentarily, you know what a panicky feeling it can be. If you notice someone is having difficulty breathing, appears to be choking, or is giving the universal sign for choking (shown below), take the following steps.

    First Aid for Choking - The Universal Sign for Choking


    First Aid for Choking: Step-by-Step Instructions

    For Infants (1 year and under)

    1. Get consent from the parent or guardian, if present.
    2. Give them 5 firm blows to the mid-to-upper back with the base of your palm.
    3. If the object isn’t dislodged, turn the infant over by sandwiching them between your forearms; hold them on your arm with their head supported in your hand, keeping their head lower than their chest.
    4. Give 5 chest thrusts (using 2 fingers placed just below the nipple line).
    5. Repeat back blows and chest thrusts until the object is dislodged, the infant begins coughing or crying, or they become unconscious.
    6. If the infant becomes unconscious, place the infant on a firm, safe surface and begin CPR. Have someone call 9-1-1. If you are alone, give about two minutes of CPR before calling 9-1-1 yourself.


    For Adults and Children over 1 year

    1. For children, get consent from the parent or guardian, if present.
    2. Ask them quickly if they are choking. (This allows them to simply nod or shake their head, instead of trying to speak.)
    3. If they nod yes and/or can’t speak or cough, act quickly to help them.
    4. Give them 5 firm blows to the mid-to-upper back with the base of your palm.
    5. If the back blows don’t dislodge the object, continue with the following steps (the Heimlich maneuver).
    6. Stand behind the victim.
    7. Make a fist with one hand, placing the thumb side against the victim’s abdomen, above their belly button and below the ribs.
    8. Quickly thrust inward and upward into the abdomen (this action activates the diaphragm, forcing available air out of the lungs).
    9. Repeat thrusts until object is expelled or victim becomes unconscious.
    10. If the victim becomes unconscious, have someone call 9-1-1, and begin CPR—starting with looking for any objects blocking their airway.

    Heimlich maneuver

    If You’re Alone and You Begin Choking

    1. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you have a land-line phone.
    2. Perform abdominal thrusts on yourself:
      1. Place a fist just above your belly button.
      2. Bend over a hard surface like a chair, countertop, or barstool.
      3. Using the surface for more power and stability, thrust your fist inward and upward to activate the diaphragm and expel air from your lungs and the object from your throat (you can also thrust your body forward onto your fist).
      4. Repeat.

    Although we hope you never have to put this information to use, knowing how to provide first aid for choking can help prevent needless fatalities.


    What about you? Have you ever helped someone who was choking?

    What experiences do you have with performing the Heimlich maneuver or having it performed on you?





    CPR, AED, and Basic First Aid booklet ($1.25 each from our online store)



    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, First Aid, emergency preparedness

  • When was the last time you practiced any First Aid skills?

    About ten days ago I got a surprise practice when I had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on my nephew at a family reunion.

    We were attending a small-town parade—so small that the parade goes down main street one direction, turns around, and goes past again. It’s a great time, and the kids love it. (I'm not gonna lie--even though I'm an Urban Girl at heart, I love small towns. They're so charming and the people are almost always really friendly.) Out of nowhere my nephew made a couple of quick gagging/coughing sounds and spun around with wide eyes. Poor kid had a half-chewed salt-water taffy stuck in his throat. He managed to get out enough sound that his “I’m choking” could be understood, but sounded more like “Mchucke.”

    I didn’t react at first—I just stood there for a second. Then my dad said, “Do the Heimlich maneuver!” I still wasn't processing things completely, so I asked my nephew if he was okay—maybe he had coughed it out on his own?

    He shook his head. Nope, he wasn't okay. So I spun him around, did my best at placing my hands below his sternum, and gave it a go. He made a little gagging noise, coughed up the candy, and was completely fine. He went back to chasing down the candy projectiles that were coming from the floats and giving high fives to people in the parade.

    Portrait of a boy with red hair

    The whole thing was far less dramatic than you might expect. As I was getting ready to do the Heimlich maneuver, his mom commented from a few feet away, “You can probably just hit him on the back.” And that probably would have worked fine in this situation as a first attempt—I probably could have saved the Heimlich for a second or third attempt if a hefty swat or two between the shoulder blades didn't work. (In fact, that’s what you’re supposed to do first. More on that in an upcoming post.)

    That being said, maybe the reason it wasn't dramatic is because it worked—what if my family and I hadn't known what to do? What if no one around us at the parade knew what to do, either?

    That’s the idea behind this Public Service Announcement from an Ambulance corps in the UK. The statistics might be specific to the UK or a certain region (and the storyline is slightly depressing), but the message is applicable no matter where you live: just a small amount of  First Aid knowledge and preparation can help save a life.


    How much First Aid do you know? Are you First Aid or CPR Certified? Have you had to put your knowledge to use?

    --Urban Girl (Sarah)

    This post is Part One in a series related to First Aid knowledge and skills. Join us in learning about First Aid—and lend your experiences and knowledge to the discussion!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, First Aid, emergency preparedness

  • Getting Started

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    Many people ask, “Where do I begin when it comes to Emergency Preparedness?

    We'd answer that question by saying that the first thing you should do is to get information first. Information is the most valuable tool to have in an emergency. We have a large collection of Emergency Preparedness Insight Articles that can help you to obtain this vital preparedness information.

    Get Started on your Prepping by reading Emergency Essentials Insight Articles

    Insight Article Topics:

    Take a look at some of these articles to start or refresh your prepper education. These articles will help get yourself and your family invested in emergency preparedness. There are over 90 articles to choose from within 13 different categories. Insight Categories include:


    Preparedness Checklists and Downloads

    Another great way to get started (with no cost involved) is to develop a personal or family emergency preparedness plan. Check out our Preparedness Checklist page to start creating an emergency plan or to build your emergency kit today. You can print these plans directly from our website. Here are the checklists we have to offer:


    A Few More Tips for Getting Started

    Here are a few ideas and tips to get you started with your preparedness plan after you have your Family Evacuation Plan in place:

    • Establish a modest preparedness budget. Make it a priority and work at it the best you can. Start with a few items, such as: water (both portable and permanent), an emergency kit, emergency candles, a sleeping bag, and a first-aid kit or an emergency bag.
    • Get your information from reliable sources. Don’t let anyone scare you into thinking that it has to be done all at once or that you must incur heavy debt to achieve your goals.
    • Use short-term storage as a guide for long-term needs. The items required to sustain life for three days can easily be multiplied for planning long-term storage needs.
    • Be consistent. Within a short time you will have the necessary supplies and equipment to take care of yourself, family members, and others.
    • Think investment, not expense. Take care of what you purchase and learn not to waste.

    Remember that babies, small children, the elderly, pets, and those with special medical needs require special consideration when planning for an emergency. We offer some great information to help you with these groups.

    For those of you wondering how and where to begin, we hope this post will be helpful. For others who have already started, we welcome your input to help and assist those who are just beginning. An inner confidence results as one strives to do their best to become prepared.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: pets, Emergency plan, family, water, First Aid, children, water storage, getting started, emergency kit checklist, Preparedness Checklist, special needs

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