PARENTS were warned to be alert if they'd bought popular pop-it fidget toys for their children.
With Easter coming up, you might be keeping an eye out for gifts to make the holiday eggs-tra special for your kid.
And pop-its – a fidget toy with poppable silicone blisters- may seem like a tempting option.
But first aiders have warned that the popular toy could prove fatal to infants.
Posting on CPR kids, paediatric nurse and managing director of the company, Sarah Hunstead, said parents need to be aware that pop-its are meant for older children.
She issued the warning after two followers reached out to share how a baby nearly choked on a piece that fell off a cheaply-made pop-it.
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Follower Kendall recounted how she saw something pink in her nephew Lincoln's mouth when holding him one evening.
At first, she though it was a gumball, she said, but Lincoln's mum Ellie realised the strange object was a bit of rubber from a pop-it and quickly pulled it out.
"This piece of the toy had broken off somehow and it suctioned to his top gums," Kendall explained.
The pair shared pictures of little Lincoln's mouth, showing how one ofthe poppable pieces has fastened onto his gum and caused it to swell.
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"We’re lucky it ended this way and not with him choking," Kendall said.
Lincoln's mum Ellie had bought the pop-it from a mall kiosk for her oldest child and said there about four of them floating around the house.
It hadn't occurred to her that pieces of the toy might break off, leaving her baby vulnerable to chocking.
"Although they aren't necessarily intended for infants, they are extremely popular with toddlers and older kids and they aren't something you'd think would be harmful to a baby," Ellie said.
"My kids love them," she continued. "I never thought the little bubble parts could pop out and be so dangerous for babies and toddlers who put things in their mouths."
"Please check your pop-its and spread awareness about this because it literally could happen to anyone," the mum pleaded.
Signs your child is choking
There are a few signs to look out for to tell if your child is choking.
According to St John Ambulance, they may:
- have difficulty breathing, speaking or coughing
- have a red puffy face
- show signs of distress and they may point to their throat or grasp their neck
For a baby, the signs the may be choking are slightly different.
A choking baby may:
- be unable to breathe, cry, or cough
- have a red puffy face
- show signs of distress
"I'm so incredibly grateful that it was caught when it was and that my little guy is going to be okay."
Kendall shared that the swelling in Lincolns gums quickly went down and that the tot was feeling fine.
But she urged parents who'd bought pop-its for their older kids to thoroughly check that the toys were 'good quality' and be vigilant with their infants.
What to do if your child chokes
Babies and young children are always at risk of choking because their airways are smaller, and they haven't mastered chewing and swallowing properly, first aiders say.
It’s a parents worst nightmare to imagine a situation in which they have to save their child from choking.
But in that moment, it may be you who will have to step up and perform first aid.
The NHS says if you can see an object lodged in your child’s mouth, take care to remove it because blindly poking at it could make things worse.
If the child is coughing, encourage them to continue as they may be able to bring the object up. Don't leave them.
If the coughing isn’t effective (it is silent or they cannot breathe properly), shout for help immediately.
If the child is still conscious, use back blows.
First aiders at St John Ambulance give the following advice based on the child’s age.
- Slap it out:
- Lay the baby face down along your thigh and support their head
- Give five back blows between their shoulder blades
- Turn them over and check their mouth each time
2. Squeeze it out:
- Turn the baby over, face upwards, supported along your thigh
- Put two fingers in the centre of their chest just below the nipple line; push downwards to give up to five sharp chest thrusts
- Check the mouth each time
3. If the item does not dislodge, call 999 or 112 for emergency help
- Take the baby with you to call
- Repeat the steps 1 and 2 until help arrives
- Start CPR if the baby becomes unresponsive (unconscious)
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
4. Call 999 or 112 for emergency help if the object does not dislodge
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until help arrives
- Start CPR if the person becomes unresponsive (unconscious)
5. Always seek medical advice if abdominal thrusts are used
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All kids are at risk of choking – especially those under the age of three.
In the event of an emergency, always call 999. If you're unsure on how to perform CPR on a child or baby then help is available through St John Ambulance.
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