A SHOCKING scan has revealed just how dangerous Christmas decorations can be to youngsters.
First aiders said we can’t wrap kids up in cotton wool, and sometimes incidents are impossible to avoid.
It was the top part of the ornament, which the string is usually attached to – which allows it to be hung on the tree.
The experts said that thankfully, there was just enough air space for the little one to breathe until it was removed.
In the UK, choking kills one child per month and hundreds more require hospital treatment, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has said.
That’s why it’s important to know how to help your child if they ingest something and it gets stuck.
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
All kids are at risk of choking – especially those under the age of three.
Aside from choking hazards, experts previously warned that your decorations and tree could be damaging your health.
Pharmacist Sultan Dajani said one of the main ailments you could develop is ‘Christmas tree syndrome‘.
Sultan, from eyecare brand GoldenEye, said you could also be at risk from your decorations and lights.
Dust mites are one of the most common respiratory allergens and they can be carried into the house on both Christmas trees (both real and artificial) and on the decorations and light, he explained.
Mould on your Christmas tree could also leave you with respiratory issues, the expert said.
When it comes to decorations and little ornaments, it’s important to supervise your children with them at all times in order to avoid a possible choking or poison hazard, experts at the National Capital Poison Center in the US said.
They explained: “Glass Christmas ornaments can be attractive to young children and can break easily.
“Stepping or crawling on the glass is a problem, but some ornaments also contain lead, mercury, or methylene chloride, which can poison children if they touch, taste, or swallow them.
“Even though they are sharp, small glass pieces usually pass through the digestive tract uneventfully.”