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Thread: choking vs gagging?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Default choking vs gagging?

    This may be a silly question but what's the difference between choking and gagging?

    I have been trying the baby-led approach, giving my coming-to-8 month old son the occasional solids in addition to breastmilk. So far it's been going great.

    But yesterday when I gave him a teething biscuit, the kind that melts in the mouth, a chunk of it broke off in his mouth and kind of got stuck at the top/back of his mouth cavity as he was trying to swallow it. He started crying and got really upset. I dug the offending thing out and gave him breastmilk to calm him down. The same thing happened again this morning and he seemed to be gagging (or choking?) though there was nothing in his mouth this time.

    Is this normal gagging or is this choking?

    Can anyone direct me to resources on the web for what to do if baby chokes? Thanks in advance!
    Caylen Koen Chew (25/05/06)
    Lost No.2 in Aug 2008 ... Lost No. 3 in May 2009 Hoping for another ... Enjoying No.1



  2. #2
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    Default Re: choking vs gagging?

    my ds did this too w/ half a cheerio....i could see it in the way back of his mouth at the top of his tounge. i didnt try to get it because our dr said the 'fingersweep' was dangerous to do because you could lodge the item into their throat.....so....i panicked and he puked..... i think since he puked he was probly gagging.....whatever, i dont care....now his cheerios get soaked in bm first and he gets nothing that he cant mush or mash.....choking possibility is just toooo scary for me!
    ~To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world~

  3. #3
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    Default Re: choking vs gagging?

    The difference between choking and gagging is this: if they stop breathing or start turning colors, they are choking. You pick them up, turn them upside down and hit their back. If they are gagging, you just let them be...their bodies will do what it needs to stop the gagging.

    I also strongly advise every parent to be certified in CPR...as a parent, you never know when you're going to need it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: choking vs gagging?

    Indeed, choking is an obstruction of an airway. If a baby is truly choking, no air will be able to pass through...they won't be able to cough or gag. However gagging, is a natural reflex that actually prevents choking...it is not a precursor to choking but an avoidance mechanism. It can be very scary, and you did the right thing by helping your baby get rid of the offending biscuit, especially if baby was having some difficulty moving the item back to the front of the mouth. That is the reason for the gagging...to get the food from the back of the mouth to the front.

    I hope that helps. Making sure that the food you give your baby to start with is soft is a very good idea...things like bananas, avocados, and cooked apple. However, it is not necessary, per se. It just helps Mama to be a bit more comfortable with child led solids. HTH!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: choking vs gagging?

    I would highly recommend that you call your local hospital or fire station and sign up for a CPR class. They normally run around $50. A few simple tricks and you could save your LO life. To me that's priceless.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: choking vs gagging?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJsmommy View Post
    I would highly recommend that you call your local hospital or fire station and sign up for a CPR class. They normally run around $50. A few simple tricks and you could save your LO life. To me that's priceless.
    ITA! I am EMT certified and it makes me a lot more comfortable! I think it should be a requirement, as much as carseats are, when leaving the hospital. My brother and sil had to take one before they left their hospital...30 minutes can mean a lifetime!

  7. #7
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: choking vs gagging?

    Thanks for all your replies. You've been a great help! I have to find a way to get some cpr training here. I'm living in vienna austria, but my german isn't so good.
    Caylen Koen Chew (25/05/06)
    Lost No.2 in Aug 2008 ... Lost No. 3 in May 2009 Hoping for another ... Enjoying No.1



  8. #8
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    Default Re: choking vs gagging?

    You might be able to call an army base if you have one near by. /they might be able to help you.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: choking vs gagging?

    Quote Originally Posted by epbrown View Post
    ITA! I am EMT certified and it makes me a lot more comfortable! I think it should be a requirement, as much as carseats are, when leaving the hospital. My brother and sil had to take one before they left their hospital...30 minutes can mean a lifetime!
    yep! - on both counts... I, too am cert EMT and it's priceless information... I also second the suggestions that is should be manditory like casrseats and to find a nearby army base...

    Good luck!!
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Default Re: choking vs gagging?

    Hi,
    I'm living in Budapest right now (we're almost neighbors) and if I need a doctor who speaks English I go to a place called American Clinic First Med Center where everyone speaks English (which is great).
    They have branches all over the world so they may have one also in Vienna. or take a day trip and come do it here in Budapest.
    They have a lot of programs and maybe cpr is one of them. They will probably be willing to open a course if they had enough people who are interested.

    there web site is http://www.firstmedcenters.com/

    Good Luck
    (and if you need a sitter while you take the course, let me know)

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