New first aider saves choking child’s life
A woman put her newly-acquired occupational first aid skills to good use when she saved the life of a child who got a broken lollipop stuck in her throat during a trick-or-treat session in Wexford town.
Jennifer Ryan said she was out trick-or-treating with two of her own children on John’s Road in Westlands when she became aware of a small child ‘who was in trouble’ after part of a hard lollipop became detached from its stick and got stuck in her throat.
‘She had been coughing at first and then I realised she was choking,’ Jennifer told this newspaper.
‘I reacted straight away and gave her a few taps on the back and then I used the Heimlich manouevre. The broken piece of the lollipop, which had been lodged in her throat, then came back up and she started breathing,’ said Jennifer, who hails from Waterford, but is currently staying with friends in George’s Street.
A mother of five, Jennifer had only completed a QQI Level 5 occupational first aid course at the Wexford-based Community Training and Education Centre (CTEC) the week before, which had included instructions on how to perform the Heimlich manouevre, which involves giving abdominal thrusts to remove foreign objects from upper airways.
‘Had I not done the training, I would have been a helpless as the next person,’ said Jennifer.
She said the three-year-old girl’s mother was present along with other children and several other adults, but didn’t realise what had happened until the child began choking.
‘She seemed in shock more than anything,’ said Jennifer. She said that after administering the first aid, she advised the woman to take her child to hospital to get her checked in case the sharp edges of the broken lollipop had caused any injuries.
‘I don’t let my own children eat those hard lollipops. They can be very dangerous if they break, she said, adding that she didn’t know the name of the child or the family she had aided.
Jennifer Ryan used her first aid skills to save a child.