The heartbreaking image that could save your child's life

A health expert has shared a picture that's 'not easy to look at' as a stark warning to parents.

Warning: Distressing content

Would you know what to do if your child was choking or unconscious? This is the difficult question sisters Nikki Jurcutz and Rach Waia ask young parents via their organisation Tiny Hearts Education.

The duo has made it their mission to educate Aussie mums and dads about choking and breathing hazards, sharing short instructional videos and images like the one below with their 360,000 Instagram followers.

"This is not an easy image to look at, I know. But it is an important reminder about the reality of choking in little ones," Ms Jurcutz says under the confronting picture. "It shows a peanut lodged in a child's trachea, which heartbreakingly, resulted in their death."

Peanut stuck in a child's trachea; Nikki Jurcutz holding doll baby
Nikki Jurcutz shared the image of a peanut stuck in an airway, which led to a child's death, to alert parents of choking dangers. Source: Instagram/@tinyheartseducation

As a former paramedic, Ms Jurcutz has dealt with life-or-death situations like this first-hand and says it's important parents know exactly what to doing in an emergency. "If your little one needed you, would it be second nature?" she asks. "Could you carry out CPR with the correct ratio, speed and depth to keep them alive until an ambulance arrives?"

Choking hazards to look out for

It's not just nuts new parents have to watch out for either - raw fruit and vegetables⁠, sausages, chunks of meat⁠, seeds, popcorn kernels, fruit pips⁠, hard lollies, marshmallows and chewing gum⁠ can all pose a threat, as can small non-food objects like marbles, coins, pen lids⁠ and batteries⁠.

Peanut stuck in child's trachea
In the caption accompanying this image on Instagram, Ms Jurcutz says she's made it a rule for her family that no child under five is given whole nuts. Source: Instagram/@tinyheartseducation

What do do if your child is choking

Ms Jurcutz revealed on the Tiny Hearts Education TikTok channel what to do if your infant is choking. "Let me teach you a skill that absolutely every single parent should know," she begins. "This is how to save your choking baby."

"First thing you're gonna do is, you're gonna call triple-0," Ms Jurcutz says. "You're gonna put them on speaker and get them coming your way. You're gonna grab your child, you're gonna support their head, neck, and jaw and place them in a downward position across your lap.

"Using the palm of your hand, you're gonna deliver five sharp back blows in between their shoulder blades. And you're gonna check in between each back blow, to make sure the airway hasn't been cleared," she demonstrates.

"You're going to flip your child over, supporting their head and neck. You're going to put them onto your lap again using that downward position, get gravity to help," Ms Jurcutz continues. "You're going to place your two fingers where you'd usually deliver CPR compressions and deliver five sharp chest thrusts. One, two, three, four, five. Checking the airway to make sure that it hasn't been cleared."

Next, Ms Jurcutz advises alternating between back blows and chest thrusts until the "ambulance arrives or your child becomes unconscious". Ms Jurcutz says if you're baby does become unconscious before the ambulance arrives, you'll need to know how to perform infant CPR.

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