Dr. Saad Saad has been practicing medicine for decades. He is a pediatric surgeon who is like any other doctor except for one particular aspect. He specializes in the removal of foreign objects from children’s throats and windpipes. During his long career as a doctor, Dr. Saad has removed hundreds of objects that have been stuck in children’s tracheas and esophagi. He explains that it is very common for children to swallow or breathe in objects they shouldn’t and that it can be very dangerous if not treated in time. Sometimes objects can cause tissue damage while inside the body, while others can expand and prevent a child from breathing correctly along with cause internal damage.
Dr. Saad stresses that there are specific procedures to undertake when a child has a foreign object stuck in his or her esophagus, and other specific procedures when the object is stuck in his or her windpipe. If a child under the age of 6 has a foreign object– the most common ones being hotdogs, marbles, and peanuts– stuck in their throat, lift the child and turn them upside down, holding them by their legs. Tap on their back while you hold them in position and most objects will come flying right out. If the child is older than 6, go ahead and perform the Heimlich maneuver. You can do this by placing the child in front of you and wrapping your arms around their waist, after that, proceed to push your joined hands between their ribs and abdomen– right below the diaphragm– most of the time, this will solve your problem. If it doesn’t, take your child to the emergency room as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Dr. Saad maintains that you should never try to pry an object out with your fingers, as there is a higher possibility of you pushing it back even further than there is of getting the object out.
Overall, Dr. Saad emphasizes that the best way to help your child is always by preventing the situation. Although it is hard to keep an eye on a child or a toddler at all times, it is important to be aware of their environment and maybe doing a quick sweep of any potentially dangerous choking hazards. Dr. Saad also states that children under seven years old should be kept away from hot dogs, as they are the perfect size to block the entire throat, as he has seen way too many times. Hotdogs also break and disintegrate so they are very hard to remove in time.
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