choking - Boston Moms Blog

Sleeping in, coffee brewing, kids getting dressed and ready — it was shaping up to be a wonderful and relaxing Mother’s Day. After our nice morning, we headed to my brother’s for an afternoon cookout. The kids played outside, and the new puppy got a lot of attention. The grill was fired up, and dinner was about to be served. Everyone was having a great time! 

The dining room was full of laughter, smiles, kids, and food. And then, in an instant, the mood changed. I heard, “OH NO!” and saw my son struggling. Before I even knew it, I was up out of my seat, thinking to myself, NO, NO, NO, this is NOT going to happen. I picked up my 3-year-old, tipped him head down, and whacked his back with a series of hard blows. I didn’t stop until I heard someone say, “It’s up, it’s up!” and I saw his food on the ground. 

My son had choked on a piece of chicken. 

Chicken, a food we’ve eaten a thousand times.

Chicken, the healthy meat he loves (especially wings)!

Chicken, the food I will now fear.

Since he was born, I have had a pretty significant fear of choking. More so than any fears of the other bad things that could happen. Some would say I was a little crazy delaying the introduction of solid foods or how small I would cut (and still do) his food.

This is why.

Those 30, or even fewer, seconds are not something I EVER want to re-live. Those seconds I replay over and over again. Thankfully, the outcome is fine, but did I do the right thing? 

Do you still tip your 30-something-pound child face down and whack their back when they’re choking? Should I have given him the Heimlich? Should I have looked in his mouth? 

These questions need answers. 

And I have found how to get them. A CPR and First Aid class is now on my calendar. I have signed up for a refresher course since the class I took previously was before my son was born, almost 4 years ago. My family has committed to going to the class, too. 

No one has forgotten that incident. 

I highly recommend everyone take a class. Obviously, caution can help avoid these situations on occasion, but you never know when they can and will happen. So take a course, be prepared, and hope you never have to use what you learned. We are our children’s protectors — the least we can do is be prepared.

Krystal Avila
Krystal is a Massachusetts native who grew up in the 'burbs and is now loving the city life in Roslindale with her husband and 3 boys (9, 6, and 1). She and her husband met downtown working at a restaurant together, and since then their love of restaurants has kept their date nights exciting as they try out the latest places. Learning Spanish has been something Krystal has loved ever since middle school, and that has become her passion as a Spanish teacher, wife to a Salvadoran, and mother raising her children bilingual. Loves: family, friends, playing with her kids, a comfy hoodie on the beach when the sun goes down, nachos, baking, Christmas movies. Not so much: loud music, putting away laundry, terrible threes, and black pepper.