It is that time of year where we are eating, drinking and being merry. We get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays that we forget to take some safety precautions that may lead to an increased risk of choking.
As adults we have fun, talk and laugh and at holiday parties there are often times alcoholic beverages involved and we are eating which increases our risk of choking. Taking precautions to prevent choking can be fairly simple but we do not think about it. Things we can do to protect ourselves at holiday parties is when we are consuming alcoholic beverages, we need to keep those to a minimum and when we are eating, we want to be sure we are setting and eating slowly and making sure we are chewing our food thoroughly. Eating and drinking while standing juggling our plates and drinks at the same time – we tend to get in a hurry and that is when choking is likely to occur. Take time eat small bits, drink in moderation and enjoy the atmosphere of the holiday party.
Now let’s take a moment to talk about the rest of the family. . . we have our grandparents (seniors) who are often times eating and we have an increased population with false teeth (dentures). Dentures can become ill fitting over time in turn increases the chances of choking. During holidays we fix our elders a plate full of holiday food and sometimes has difficulty chewing some of the tougher foods and the dentures that are ill fitting will float in the mouth which increases the chances of choking on foods and other liquids. We will need to take action if this happens to ensure we are able to dislodge any choke hazards so that our seniors will be with us many years to come.
For the smaller family members, we have the kids who are so excited about their holiday haul of gifts and toys, that they are eating, laughing playing and sometimes will choke over the excitement of the moment. But more often than not, the tiniest of family members are exploring their environment with their mouths because that is what little kids do. We need to watch the babies to ensure they do not get just pieces of food but also tiny pieces of paper, ribbons, and small toys into their mouths that will increase their risk of choking. With all the festivities we often times forget that the things we leave on the floor could be a huge danger to some of the smallest people in our family.
Then lastly we have the choke hazards we completely forget about until it is too late and that is our fur children – our family pets are at risk for choking, especially during the holiday season. The family pets are very curious by nature and even they could be compromised and choke on items that find their way to the floor including all types of food and the decorations that they may chew on as well as strings and ribbons that they could swallow.
With everything mentioned please remember to be aware of your surroundings and watch for signs of distress in those around us. Choking is something that happens on a daily basis and with the increased activity, food and items in our presents there is likely to be someone to choke. Please take a moment and find a health and safety class near you and be prepared for choking and cardiac emergencies.