News 9 - October 27, 2023 6:38 am

Some Halloween candy can be more of a trick than a treat.

Kayla Stack knows this from experience. She’s a paramedic who saved a child who was choking on candy.

“I turned around, and immediately started performing the Heimlich maneuver and the candy actually shot across the room,” she said.

She’s now giving parents the power to save their kids too.

“There are multiple different types of candies, typically the hard candies such as suckers, jawbreakers, even the soft chewy caramels,” Stack said.

Stack says children can sometimes chew too quickly, which can potentially lead to choking.

“They want to immediately swallow, and caramels take a lot longer for them to melt in your mouth, and so they glob up quite a bit and they will dislodge the airway completely,” she said.

If a child is choking, they might cough or gag…or they could be silent. When there’s no noise, that’s a sign to take action.

“You’re going to take a fist on one hand, you’re going to put it right at the belly button, you’re going to cup the other hand, on a flat surface, right over it, you’re gonna go in an inward and upward motion until the obstruction is completely clear,” Stack said.

The Heimlich maneuver should only be used for children over a year old. If the child is less than a year old, Stack says 5 chest compressions should be alternated with 5 back blows.

“Never lie them back, don’t put them in their strollers, or their car seats or anything like that, just kind of want to make sure that you’re paying attention to them, and making sure they’re not getting a hold of something they shouldn’t,” she said.

With those tips, parents can make sure this Halloween is all treats and no tricks.

Paramedics say the first thing to do if you suspect your child is choking is to call 911. They say if the child is unconscious, begin performing CPR immediately until help comes.


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