It might be intimidating to initially introduce solid meals to your infant.
Many foods can be a choking hazard, and it can be difficult to determine which ones are safe.
But Nikki Jurcutz, of Tiny Hearts Education, has shared a hack every parent should know.
To comfort parents, the paramedic uploaded the “squish test” on Instagram. She is an expert in providing first aid for infants and young children.
The paramedic who specializes in first aid for babies and children shared the ‘squish test’ on Instagram to give parents some reassurance. The one-second test simply involves squeezing the food between your index finger and thumb
The one-second test simply involves squeezing the food between your index finger and thumb.
It’s a simple way to make sure the food you’re feeding your baby is safe to reduce the risk of choking, Ms. Jurcutz says.
She wrote, “If you can’t crush it, your baby can’t chew it.”
“The squish test helps you determine if the food is too hard so you can adjust it to make it softer and safer.”
In the post, she warned that foods that are round, hard, slippery and the same size as an airway can increase the risk of choking.
She compared banana, avocado, raw apple, cooked apple, raw carrot and cooked carrot and explained that raw carrot and apple are not suitable and too hard for a baby to chew, as pictured on the left. The softer foods that can be easily crushed between two fingers, such as banana and avocado, are safe. Pictured right is a cooked apple being crushed
She compared banana, avocado, apple and carrot and explained that raw carrot and apple are not suitable and too hard for a baby to chew.
But the softer foods that can be easily crushed between two fingers are safe.
But just because raw carrot and apple aren’t suitable doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give these foods to your baby, she said.
Simply cooking them can make them soft enough to crush and therefore safe enough for a baby to eat.
She added that grating food is another way to make food safer for babies to eat without having to cook it.
Babies should be introduced to solid foods when they are around six months old, according to the NHS.
But at this stage, they will still get most of their energy and nutrients from breast milk or first infant formula.
After six months, babies will be better at moving food through their mouths, chewing and swallowing.
Some will be able to move on to a range of textures and flavours, such as lumpy, mash and bites, but most will need to eat smooth and mixed foods first, the NHS says.
How to prevent choking in children and what to do if a child is choking
Adjust small round foods by quartering or flattening them.
If the modified fruit were to get stuck in a child’s airways, there is still room for oxygen to reach the lungs.
Like a child do suffocate and their airway is completely occluded, perform first aid for choking immediately.
Never put your fingers down a child’s throat while it is choking as your fingers could push it further down, but do back blows and chest thrusts on the child.
Source: Tiny Hearts Education