Yesterday, Jake choked. He's okay now though.
This comes right on the heels of a friend's daughter having a very, scary choking incident, which in turn has made me a raving, paranoid, lunatic nut job. I guess not paranoid enough.
So here's what happened... I was eating a bowl full of cherries (what could be more fun?) when Jake, very intrigued, walked over to me & my cherries. What a surprise. Now I know you can't give a toddler a whole cherry (duh), so I bit off a piece about the size of a dime/nickle and gave it to him (with skin which was probably a bad move). He chewed it up, drooling purple goo, and down the hatch it went. So, of course, he reached for another bite. I obliged about 5 more times until he got up & turned around. I had no idea there was a problem until he turned back around to face me. His face was slightly grey & his mouth wide open. He also had this look of panic and confusion on his face as he looked up at me. At that moment my worst fear became a reality. Somehow, without any hesitation, I grabbed him & hit his back a few times in hopes of dislodging it. This did actually seem to dislodge it temporarily which was apparent by his horse scream, but still no cherry. That's because he had inhaled it again and now there was no scream & his lips were starting to turn purple. Miraculously, I remembered those scary choking lessons from that CPR class I took when I was pregnant. So, in a frantic attempt to save him AGAIN, I placed him over my knees and gave him about 3 more blows to his back. whala, cherry.
I've always said, you never know how you're going to react in that kind of situation until it happens to you. I think I managed ok THANK GOD. It is by far the scariest thing I've ever experienced. Plus, I've never hit him, and after giving him some major back blows he was terrified of me. Luckily, after doing some major sucking up, he's since gotten over it. The lesson in all this is simple, you have to imagine the food your giving him as un-chewed and accidentally swallowed or inhaled, and if it might get stuck, make it smaller. You can't be complacent and just assume that they'll chew their food enough. I think they actually recommend mincing most food until they're age 4 because most toddlers tend to bite off more than they can actually chew. Their throat size is only about as wide as their tiny pinky.