13 years ago when I was heavily pregnant with my first child, I was sitting in a childbirth and parenting class when the instructor started to encourage us to take one of the infant CPR courses the hospital offered. “You need to learn how to save your baby’s life,” she said. “If your infant stops breathing or starts choking and you don’t know how to do infant CPR or Heimlich, the baby will surely die.” That’s exactly how she said it: “The baby will surely die.”
That was enough to scare the crap out of my new-mom self, and when my son was just a few weeks old, I took the class.
I’ve NEVER had to use it…but I am so glad I know how.
And so is Jennifer Hull, the mom of two girls, one-year-old Hollis and her older sister Hatilynn. In the video above, Hull recounts how her girls were enjoying a snack of veggie chips when Hollis ran to her mom, blue in the face. Jennifer realized she was choking and without missing a beat, remembered what she had learned in class and started performing the Heimlich maneuver on little Hollis. Almost immediately, the offending piece of food came flying out, and Hollis could breathe.
Although the video is a bit hard to watch, it’s all over VERY fast, and I encourage every parent to watch it and think of Hull’s calm, quick mannerisms. You never know when you’re going to have an emergency!
Hull, calm in the moment, was emotional as she recalled it. “We sat in these classes before we had kiddos and they were teaching us exactly what to do in these moments,” she says, holding back tears. “I remember how scared I was. And I’m just really thankful that it went the way it went.”
Hull says she and her husband were reluctant to release their nanny cam video at first, but realized that their story could help save other lives if it encouraged parents to take a CPR and Heimlich class.
“We sat through every class that our hospital gave,” she said. “It’s the least that you can do if you’re going to bring a baby into the world.”
Would you know what to do if your child was choking? To be sure you would know what to do, contact your local hospital for class availability, and check out this helpful article at Parents.com – but here are a few quick tips:
- Stand behind her with your arms around her waist
- Make a fist with one hand, placing the thumb side against the child’s stomach above the navel, but below the rib cage.
- Grasp the fist with your other hand and quickly thrust inward and upward.
- The Red Cross recommends alternating abdominal thrusts with back slaps to try to dislodge the object.
We are SO thankful little Hollis is safe, and I pray that the Hull’s story will encourage more of us parents to get educated on how to save our kids’ lives if they are choking!