The Short of It
A 40-second video featuring a talking pen cap and peanut has saved at least 36 lives. How? Because it clearly demonstrates what to do to save a baby who is choking.
St. John Ambulance, a first aid educational charity in the United Kingdom, found that 4 out of 5 parents don't know what to do if their child is choking. So the foundation created an instructional video aimed at helping parents in this incredibly scary situation.
The how-to mini-film stars The Chokeables, everyday items little ones are liable to choke on, including a marble, a pen cap, a princess figurine and a gummy candy.
In the ad, the candy starts choking on what we later learn is a peanut. The princess demonstrates how an adult should place a baby face down on his or her lap, then give up to five back thrusts, and if that doesn't work, flip the baby over and give up to five chest thrusts. If the airway isn't cleared by these maneuvers, an adult should call 911.
Becca Hensman's son Jax is one of the babies who has been saved. The British mom told the Huffington Post U.K.: "I was sat on the sofa with my 12-week-old baby boy asleep in my arms when suddenly he started making a strange noise and started to go a funny color. It became very clear quickly that he was choking on something. I'd seen the St. John Ambulance advert a few days earlier, so I flipped my son over on to my leg, and after the third back slap I gave him, he coughed. If I hadn't seen that advert, I'm not quite sure how I'd have reacted, but thankfully I had, so I knew what to do straight away."
Sue Killen, chief executive officer of St. John Ambulance, said in a news release: "We're thrilled that people have been sharing the ad with their family and friends, and the fact that children have been saved from choking is just incredible. These stories are living proof that life-saving first aid can be quick and easy to learn—and once you know what to do, you have the confidence to take action quickly and potentially save a life."
Parents can learn more about choking prevention via a free, downloadable picture e-book called "The Pen That Lost His Lid."
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