Mini Easter eggs are a deadly choking hazard, an expert warns.
In a post shared more than 21,000 times on Facebook, nurse and first-aid trainer Emma Hammett, warns such chocolatey treats are the same size as children’s airways.
Babies and young children can actually choke on anything small enough to fit through a toilet roll, she adds, resulting in them struggling to breath and being unable to talk or cry.
Although mini Easter eggs’ manufacturers state they are unsuitable for youngsters under four on their packagings, many parents are oblivious to warning.
Ms Hammett advises parents reduce their children’s choking risk by buying them larger, hollow chocolate eggs, as well as keeping an eye on them while they indulge this coming Sunday.
Although fatal choking episodes are rare, Ms Hammett outlines below how to prevent such an incident and what to do if it does occur.
She said: ‘Knowing these steps will hopefully give you the confidence to make a difference, should the worst ever happen.
‘First aid is about being prepared, not scared. Your positive actions could save your child.’
Mini Easter eggs are a deadly choking hazard, a first-aid expert and nurse warns (stock)
How to perform first-aid on a choking child
Choking can be prevented by keeping small objects out of reach, cutting food into very small pieces and staying with children, particularly those under five, while they eat.
If a child is choking:
- Remain calm and encourage them to cough to clear the obstruction
- Bend the child forward, supporting them on their chest
- With the other hand, give the child a firm blow, with a flat palm, between their shoulder blades
Signs of choking include children struggling to breathe and being unable to speak or cry
- Check to see if the blockage has cleared before giving them another blow. If the second attempt does not work, call an ambulance and keep trying for a total of five times
- If still unsuccessful, try the Heimlich manoeuvre. For this, stand behind the child and place one hand in a fist under their rib cage
- Use the other hand to pull up and under in a J-shaped motion
Bend the child forward, supporting them on their chest. Then administer a a firm blow, with a flat palm, between their shoulder blades and check to see if the obstruction has cleared
- Perform such abdominal thrusts up to five times, checking between each attempt to see if the obstruction has cleared. Anyone who has undergone the Heimlich manoeuvre should be seen by a doctor
- If the child is still choking, alternate five back blows and five abdominal thrusts until the ambulance arrives
- The Heimlich manoeuvre should not be performed on children under one.
If not cleared after two attempts. Perform the Heimlich manoeuvre by standing behind the child and placing one hand in a fist under their rib cage. Use the other hand to pull up and under in a J-shaped motion. Repeat this for up to five times
Choking deaths on the rise as adults have ‘forgotten’ how to chew
Ms Hammett’s warning comes after claims adults have ‘forgotten’ how to chew their food properly.
Government figures released in October last year revealed there were 289 deaths as a result of choking in England, Scotland and Wales in 2016 – a 17 per cent jump on the previous 12 months.
Adults over 45 made up 91 per cent of the recorded deaths, despite children being deemed most at risk of choking, which can kill in minutes.
The data, collected by the Office for National Statistics, also shows 85 per cent of choking deaths are caused by food.
Matt Oakley, director of Dechoker UK, a device that can help remove airway obstructions, told MailOnline adults need to take their time eating their food.