IF YOU have kids, you've probably heart of pop-its.
You might even have a few of the popular fidget toys floating around your house.
And we don't blame you – akin to endlessly popping bubble wrap, the colourful silicone toys are stress-relieving and crazily addictive.
But medics have warned that the popular gadget could prove fatal to infants.
Most parents will know that pop-its are meant for older kids.
But if your infant is coming into contact with the fidget toy – or you've bought one for an older kid and also have a baby – you'll need to be vigilant, the team of first-aiders behind Tiny Hearts Education warned.
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They issued the warning after two followers reached out to share how a baby nearly choked on a pop-it piece.
Follower Kendall Kemezis recounted how she saw something pink in her nephew Lincoln's mouth when holding him one evening.
At first, she thought it was a gumball, she said, but Lincoln's mum Ellie realised the strange object was a bit of rubber from a pop-it and quickly pulled it out.
"This piece of the toy had broken off somehow and it suctioned to his top gums," Kendall explained.
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She shared pictures of little Lincoln's mouth, showing how one of the poppable pieces has fastened onto his gum and caused it to swell.
"We’re lucky it ended this way and not with him choking," Kendall added.
In an earlier post about the incident, Lincoln's mum Ellie said she had bought the pop-it from a kiosk at a shopping centre for her oldest child and that they about four of them in the house.
It hadn't occurred to her that pieces of the toy might break off, leaving her baby vulnerable to chocking.
"Although they aren't necessarily intended for infants, they are extremely popular with toddlers and older kids and they aren't something you'd think would be harmful to a baby," Ellie said.
"My kids love them," she continued. "I never thought the little bubble parts could pop out and be so dangerous for babies and toddlers who put things in their mouths."
"Please check your pop-its and spread awareness about this because it literally could happen to anyone," the mum pleaded.
The team behind Tiny Hearts wrote: "I know these toys are very popular nowadays, so sharing this story to raise awareness.
"This could have easily been swallowed and become a choking hazard."
Kendall shared that the swelling in Lincoln's gums quickly went down and that the tot was feeling fine.
But she urged parents who'd bought pop-its for their older kids to thoroughly check that the toys were 'good quality' and be vigilant with their infants.
First aider Nikki Jurcutz from Tiny Hearts recently said parents could be making a deadly mistake when helping a choking baby by not giving them hard enough back blows.
She demonstrated just how hard these should.
The Australian-based first-aid educator also previously revealed the best ways to reduce your child's risk of choking.
These include banning eating in the car, making sure your child doesn't consume risky foods such as whole nuts and popcorn, and sitting with a kid while they eat.
What to do if your child chokes?
Babies and young children are always at risk of choking because their airways are smaller, and they haven't mastered chewing and swallowing properly, first aiders say.
It’s a parents worst nightmare to imagine a situation in which they have to save their child from choking.
But in that moment, it may be you who will have to step up and perform first aid.
The NHS says if you can see an object lodged in your child’s mouth, take care to remove it because blindly poking at it could make things worse.
If the child is coughing, encourage them to continue as they may be able to bring the object up. Don't leave them.
If the coughing isn’t effective (it is silent or they cannot breathe properly), shout for help immediately.
If the child is still conscious, use back blows.
First aiders at St John Ambulance give the following advice based on the child’s age.
- Slap it out:
- Lay the baby face down along your thigh and support their head
- Give five back blows between their shoulder blades
- Turn them over and check their mouth each time
2. Squeeze it out:
- Turn the baby over, face upwards, supported along your thigh
- Put two fingers in the centre of their chest just below the nipple line; push downwards to give up to five sharp chest thrusts
- Check the mouth each time
3. If the item does not dislodge, call 999 or 112 for emergency help
- Take the baby with you to call
- Repeat the steps 1 and 2 until help arrives
- Start CPR if the baby becomes unresponsive (unconscious)
1. Cough it out
- Encourage the casualty to keep coughing, if they can
2. Slap it out
- Lean them forwards, supporting them with one hand
- Give five sharp back blows between the shoulder blades
- Check their mouth each time but do not put your fingers in their mouth
3. Squeeze it out
- Stand behind them with your arms around their waist, with one clenched fist between their belly button and the bottom of their chest
- Grasp the fist in the other hand and pull sharply inwards and upwards, giving up to five abdominal thrusts
- Check their mouth each time
4. Call 999 or 112 for emergency help if the object does not dislodge
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until help arrives
- Start CPR if the person becomes unresponsive (unconscious)
5. Always seek medical advice if abdominal thrusts are used
All kids are at risk of choking – especially those under the age of three.
In the event of an emergency, always call 999. If you're unsure on how to perform CPR on a child or baby then help is available through St John Ambulance.
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