CPR and Choking Emergencies

An essential skill every teacher, childcare worker, or parent should have is CPR and choking training. One of the most important things a teacher can do is be prepared for these potential emergencies to happen. All childcare locations should have prepared and posted policies and procedures to follow for choking and CPR emergencies. During any emergency teachers and childcare workers should always act immediately to protect the child and surrounding children while remaining calm (Robertson. 2013).

There are so many different scenarios and responses that can happen or go through your mind during the event or even during training. But I have chosen two scenarios to go through and explain the proper emergency procedures. Here are the two:

The first scenario is a choking emergency. The teachers and childcare workers of a preschool are taking a group of 2 – 3 year old children outside to the schools yard to have a picnic lunch. They had packed a nutritious lunch including strawberries but the strawberries had not been cut and the teachers did not bring a knife. One of the teachers shows the children how to properly bite and chew on a strawberry but even with this instruction a choking emergency can happen and one did. As the children begin to eat their lunch one child appears to not be eating but upon closer inspection they appear to be choking. The child is not making any noise and is not coughing, which indicates that the child’s airway is blocked. Teachers must know how to act immediately when a child’s airway is blocked. To remove the lodged piece of strawberry the teacher must perform the Heimlich Maneuver until the piece of strawberry is dislodged from their throat and the child can breathe again (Heller. 2013). The teacher must be trained in first aid to perform the Heimlich Maneuver even though they are fairly simple to perform. Once the teacher is able to dislodge the strawberry and the child can breathe again make sure the child is comforted and remains calm to insure no other incidents happen. While the child is now safe, the parents of the child should be notified and a report of the incident should be filed (Robertson, 2013).

In this emergency scenario there were steps that could have been taken to prevent this child from choking. The teachers and childcare workers should not take any chances with food handling. They should have sent one worker back inside to cut the strawberries up in to smaller piece so the children could eat them easier. Doing so would have ensured the pieces were small enough that the children would not choke on them.

The second scenario is a CPR emergency. CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and can be described as a combination of chest compressions, which keeps the blood circulating, and rescue breathing, which provides oxygen to the lungs. For a child CPR can be lifesaving, but it needs to be done by someone trained by an accredited CPR course to insure proper procedures are followed. A first grade class is outside at recess with two teachers supervising, all the children know the rules of playing on the playground but they may not always follow them. Suddenly a teacher hears a child scream behind her. She turns and noticed two children one lying on the ground who appears unconscious and the other standing near them looking scared. The teacher immediately assesses their surroundings and tells the other teacher on recess duty to call 911 right away, never leave the child alone have someone else call (Robertson, 2013). The teacher ten rushes over to the child on the ground, she begins by asking if the child is okay and conscious. There is no response from the child, the teacher then must make sure the child is on their back. The teach will then preform chest compressions, to perform a chest compression you must follow these steps: place the heel of one hand on the breastbone, making sure your heel is not at the very end of the breastbone; keep your other hand on the child’s forehead while keeping the head tilted back; press down on the child’s chest so that it compresses about 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the chest; give 30 chest compressions, each time let the chest rise fully, these compressions should be fast and hard with no resting (Heller. 2013). Next the teacher needs to open the child’s airway by lifting the chin with one hand and at the same time tilting the head by pushing down on the forehead with the other hand. The teacher must look for chest movement, listen for breathing near mouth and feel for breath on their cheek (Heller. 2013). If the child is then not breathing the teacher must begin rescue breathing. The teacher must follow these steps for rescue breathing: cover the child’s mouth tightly with your mouth; pinch the nose closed, keep the chin lifted and head tilted; give 2 rescue breaths, each breath should take about a second and make the chest rise (Heller. 2013). The teacher should continue to do CPR until trained EMT rescue crew has arrive.

With this emergency, like with any the most important thing for the teacher and childcare workers to do is be calm and have the CPR training so they can help save a child’s life. Like in the other scenario an incident report must be filled out by the teacher involved and put in the child’s file. Another teacher should also have notified a parent and created an action plan, either the parents come to the school to be with their child or meet their child at the hospital (Robertson. 2013).

It is important to remember the significance of having the proper training in the event of CPR and choking emergencies, like these two scenarios. Teachers and childcare workers must always have emergency contact numbers of family members easily accessible, the local poison control and emergency numbers by the phones, first aid kit supplies (more than one), and regular drills should be practiced so that everyone knows what to do when an emergency occurs. Never underestimate what a child can do. Stay calm and be prepared to save a child’s life.


Heller, J. (2013). Choking- adult or child over 1 year. Medline Plus. National Library of Medicine. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000049.htm

Heller, J. (2013). Choking – child 1 to 8 years. Medline Plus. National Library of Medicine. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000012.htm

Robertson, C. (2013). Safety, nutrition, and health in early education (5th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.


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