Terrifying video of mall security saving a choking baby is a reminder to brush up on what to do if it happens to you
Do you know what to do to help a choking baby? A dramatic video of a police officer at a Florida mall is a terrifying, viral reminder to brush up on those skills, not just for your kids, but for anyone’s.
In the video, 14-month-old Lucia is munching on chicken nuggets in her stroller in the mall food court. Her mom, Ana Graham, told the Palm Beach Post Lucia had been eating solid foods without issues since she was around nine months old. This time, though, Graham could see something was wrong.
“On her second bite, I noticed she looked at me with her eyes wide open. She started turning red,” Graham said.
She yanked her little girl out of the stroller and tried patting her on the back, like her pediatrician had taught her. The commotion attracted the attention of a couple police officers who were sitting across the food court.
The video shows Officer Robert Ayala running up, grabbing Lucia, holding her face down in his left hand, and patting her forcefully on the back with his right hand. After a few seconds, he tries to clear her airway with his finger, then pats her back a few more times. Finally, the chicken nugget is forced back out of Lucia’s airway.
Graham described the officers as “angels from heaven,” but Ayala was a lot more humble about it.
“It was just the right place at the right time,” he said, citing his police training for teaching him how to quickly react to the situation.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s important to act fast if you’re near a choking baby who can’t breathe. You should sit and lay baby face down on your forearm, resting on your thigh, then thump the baby firmly five times in the middle of the back. If the object doesn’t dislodge, or it does and the baby doesn’t start breathing, you should call for emergency services and begin infant CPR.
Thankfully, baby Lucia is fine. But the terrifying video is a reminder of the importance of learning skills like infant choking first aid and CPR. You never know when you may need them.