Random teenager on the street saves toddler who choked on a candy
“The little girl was completely limp, so I checked her airways and tilted her over and started hitting her back,” said Caitlin.
When Leigh-Anne decided to visit her grandmother’s house with her children in tow, she didn’t anticipate trouble coming her way, but life had a different plan for her.
According to the 26-year-old mother, her two eldest sons JJ, five, and Lennon, four, were treated to some sweets by their grandmother.
No one knew, however, that her one-year-old daughter Tallulah had gotten a hold of a sweet herself, and in the process she managed to choke on it.
“We all went in to panic mode.” Leigh-Anne said in a Mirror Online report. “It seemed like it went on for ages. Not one of us knew what to do. We were banging her back and frantically passing her to each other.”
They called the ambulance while her grandmother and grandfather tried to get the sweet to come up.
“Tallulah was panicking at first but then she started to go purple and she stopped flapping her arms—she literally had no oxygen left in her.”
Leigh-Anne knew that they couldn’t afford to wait for the ambulance, so she did the next best things she knew to do.
She ran out to the streets and screamed for help. Her grandmother, carrying a limp Tallulah in her arms, ran outside as well.
Thankfully, fish shop worker Caitlin Lewis was on the very street and immediately spotted the two distraught women.
“I was stood on the corner of the street waiting to go to work when I heard someone screaming for help,” the Redcar College student said. “I heard her shout ‘my daughter’s choking,’ so I ran straight over.”
Having learned first aid skills while she was with the Army Cadets four years ago, her instincts kicked in and she snapped into action.
“The little girl was completely limp, so I checked her airways and tilted her over and started hitting her back,” said Caitlin. “I turned her round and tapped on her chest, then after what felt like forever she coughed up the sweet and spat it out.”
Relief flooder her the moment Tallulah started crying.
“I’ve got my first aid training but I never thought in a million years I would be in that position. I left the cadets about a year ago it’s good to know I’ve got those skills for life now.”
Meanwhile, Leigh-Anne still couldn’t believe that day’s turn of events, saying that she herself fell to the floor unable to breathe.
“I honestly couldn’t sleep that night,” she said. “If that girl wasn’t there I don’t know if the ambulance would have got there in time.”
The incident changed her so much that it inspired her to take a first aid course herself. “It’s so important to know what to do when something like that happens.”
What to do when a child chokes
What Tallulah’s incident highlights is the importance of first aid knowledge. No one can anticipate an accident, and so the best weapon against the unexpected is proper knowledge.
Should you find yourself in a similar situation as Leigh-Anne, here are some things you can to, as per the British Red Cross.
- Give up to five back blows. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades. If back blows do not dislodge the object: This creates a strong vibration and pressure in the airway, which is often enough to dislodge the blockage
- Give up to five abdominal thrusts. Hold the child around the waist and pull upwards and inwards above their belly button: Abdominal thrusts squeeze the air out of the lungs and may dislodge the blockage
- If abdominal thrusts do not dislodge the object, repeat steps one and two
- Call emergency hotlines if the object has not dislodged after three cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts