Parents: Important tips for helping a child that’s choking

Connecticut Families

18-month-old M.J. is now healthy and happy, but just last week he was lifeless in a police officer’s arms after he choked on a cracker.

The incident, caught on police body cam.

“It was perfect the timing,” says mom Amanda Zimmerman. “The policemen being there. It just all worked out.”

Eventually, officers put M.J. on his back and started CPR until finally, a sign of life. “It was definitely like an out of body experience,” says Zimmerman. “I felt like I was just watching my life fall apart, in a sense.”

Moments where timing is everything. The officers did exactly what they were supposed to do. “Those initial minutes after a toddler, a child, or even a teen loses consciousness are previous. You really have to take action,” says Dr. Edith Sanchez, a pediatrician. “You want to make sure that they’re in a safe environment and check for their breathing and their pulse and immediately call 9-1-1. If you have the skills, I encourage you to start CPR.”

Today, little M.J. is back to normal. “It was a miracle that he was completely fine,” says Zimmerman, who was able to thank the officers of the Kissimmee Police Department herself. “It was a team effort. You know they all touched him. You know, put their efforts in and worked together to save my baby.”

Remember: young kids are prone to choking. Experts say if the child is gagging but can breathe, he’ll work it out and be okay. But if he can’t breathe, act quickly and call 9-1-1.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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