8-Year-Old Boy Saves Toddler Brother From Choking On Quarter

August 26, 2017
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A big brother is often someone to look up to and in this case, an almost 2-year-old will have a life-long hero to look up to.

An 8-year-old boy is being called as a hero after saving his toddler brother from choking on a quarter.

Sterling Blake, from Independence Township, New Jersey, was busy playing with his 22-month-old brother, Grainger, on August 2 when, suddenly, the toddler put something in his mouth.

He probably grabbed the quarter and he ate it, or he tried to, but he choked on it,’ Sterling told CBS 2.

Once he was choking, I didn’t think about anything. It was just my reaction.

Just two days before, the boys’ father, Ben, had taught Sterling how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a baby.

‘He told me on babies, hit them on the back,’ Sterling said.

‘I thought he was choking, so I whacked him on the back. He threw up a quarter. He started crying.’

The Washington Township Police Department decided to honor the boy’s action with a departmental commendation certificate, sharing a photo of the ‘ceremony’ along with the two brothers on social media.

Ben, who’s a member of the police department who served as a Marine in Iraq, said that he and his wife taught their son to look out for his brother, how to recognize the signs of choking and what to do in that situation.

He’s very humble about it,’ he told Lehigh Valley Live. ‘Every time we told somebody, he just shrugs it off like it was nothing.’

However, the Blakes say that the ordeal is a lesson in making sure children learn life-saving techniques as early as possible.

‘It’s a huge lesson to parents to tell and teach your children how to do it. Even if you think they’re not listening, they are,‘ the boys’ mother, Essence, reportedly said.

‘[Sterling is] eight, he’ll be nine on Christmas Eve, and he listened to everything we said and did it the exact way he was supposed to do it.’

So many similar stories have appeared of children saving people’s lives after learning the Heimlich maneuver.

Just last month, 13-year-old Lila Szojka, received a national Girl Scout Award for saving her grandmother’s life when she choked at a local Applebee’s in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, back in March of this year.

Tips to help a choking child

  • If you are able to see the object your child is choking on, try to remove it. Do not poke the object with your fingers as you make matters worse by pushing the object further which will make it harder to remove.
  • If your child is coughing loudly, encourage them to carry on coughing and don’t leave them alone.
  • If the coughing is not effective, shout for help immediately and check whether they are still conscious.
  • If he or she is still conscious but not coughing effectively use back blows
  • Give the child up to five back slaps. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades. If back slaps do not displace the object, you will need to perform abdominal thrusts.
  • Give the child up to five abdominal thrusts. Hold the child around the waist and pull upwards and inwards above their belly button. If abdominal thrusts do not dislodge the object, go back to back blows and then perform abdominal thrusts once again.
  • Call out or send for help if the object has not dislodged after three cycles of back slaps and abdominal thrusts, but do not leave the child alone.

Even if the object has come out, you will need to get medical help. Part of the object might have been left behind, or your child might have been hurt by the procedure.

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