Parent Interview Series: Hira Singh

Our Parent Interview Series enables parents in our community to share their experiences with new and seasoned parents alike so we can all feel more confident caring for our little ones!

Today’s post is from Hira Singh, a Mom in the GTA. Please enjoy her insight below.

How old are your children?

1 year

What do they get into most?

Everything goes into his mouth. Really everything. You have to see it to believe it (I found my shirt button in his book and other stuff as well).

What’s been your biggest first aid scare?

Choking and I have had the opportunity to use the skills from the Infant-Specific First Aid class twice already.

When did you start introducing solids into your child’s diet? How do you prevent a choking emergency?

At 6 months – by cutting round foods into square pieces and supervision.

Do you have any tips and tricks for keeping your home safe?

As my LO likes to taste each and everything he can pick up with his little fingers, I find that vacuuming frequently works and also when giving him new toys, clothes or any new item, I wait for some time to see what is going to go into his mouth and if that will lead to choking.

What kind of questions do you wish you had been able to ask other parents about your child’s safety?

Accidents that other kids got into and how the parents handled that.

What’s your best piece of advice for brand new parents?

Be prepared for all kinds of accidents and situations kids get into.

Additional comments?

Thanks to your course, I was able to help my son twice when he choked while eating solids.

Be calm, be confident & think common sense!

If you or someone you know would like to be featured in our Parent Interview Series, please contact us!

Have you checked out our free eBook for parents yet? Click here to get it!

Children’s Choking Facts and Prevention

I always have parents ask me about how to prevent choking, as well as how to handle a choking infant or toddler if the unthinkable happens. This is one of parents’ worst fears so to help with the education, here is a fantastic overview of choking prevention information from


▪   Approximately 200 Canadians die each year as a result of choking on food.

▪   Babies under two years are at the highest risk from choking injuries.

▪   Children up to age 6 yrs also have a high risk.  Approximately 80% of emergency calls for choking are for children under 6 yrs.

▪   A child with a fully obstructed airway will be dead in 4-6 minutes without help.

▪   The average time it takes for an ambulance to arrive in the Lower Mainland is 10 minutes.This shows how important it is for you to learn the first aid skills you need to deal with a choking child. You don’t have time to wait for an ambulance.


Newborns & infants:

▪   Immature throat muscles

▪   Small air passages

▪   Put things in their mouth


▪   Have few teeth so can’t chew big pieces of food

▪   Eat fast and don’t chew food thoroughly

▪   Put things in their mouth

▪   Run, jump and play with objects and food in mouth

HIGH RISK FOODS (Avoid these for children under age four):

▪   Small round firm food that can easily slip down throat e.g. nuts, grapes and candy.

▪   Stringy food e.g. celery, chicken, steak, long noodles

▪   Sticky food e.g. peanut butter, melted cheese

▪   Foods that swell when moist e.g. Dried fruit like raisins, chewy candy (gummy bears), seeds and kernals e.g. popcorn kernels.


▪   Apples (and other firm fruits) – chop, cook, shred.

▪   Carrots (and other firm/hard vegetables) – finely shred, puree or cook until soft.

▪   Celery – remove stringy outside layer with peeler and cut into very small pieces.

▪   Grapes and cherries – Cut in quarters and remove seeds / pips / stones.

▪   Hot dogs – Slice lengthwise and chop into irregularly shaped pieces.

▪   Peanut butter – Spread thinly and serve with a drink.  Children under 4 should never eat large clumps from a spoon or finger.

▪   Raisins – Avoid completely for children less than 2 yrs. 2-4’s should only be given plump, moist ones or ones that have been cooked in breads, puddings.

▪   Hard Candy and chewing gum – Avoid for children under age 4.

▪   Nuts – Peanuts are a leading cause of childhood choking. All nuts are a threat because of their size and shape and should be avoided for children under 4.

▪   Popcorn – its size, shape and irregular edges make it a prime choking food.  Kernels can also be a hazard as they can swell.  Avoid for children under 4.


Other than food, the most common choking items reported from Canadian hospitals are: bones, coins, stones, pins, batteries (TV remote controls and watches), buttons, adhesive tape, small plastic toy pieces, key-chains.


▪   Don’t give foods like nuts, whole grapes, hot dogs, popcorn, large pieces of fruit or vegetables, chewing gum or hard candies to a child under four.

▪   Make sure the soft parts of pacifiers (soothers) are firmly attached to the handle.  Use a teething toy instead when baby is old enough to chew. Move from the bottle to a cup then too.

▪   Keep small objects out of reach of young children.

▪   Don’t let children blow up balloons or play with pieces of popped balloons.

▪   Avoid giving toys which say “not suitable for a child under age 3” to under 3’s.

▪   Plastic on disposable diapers can cause choking and should always be covered with clothing.


▪   Sit quietly while eating.  Children should not leave the table or stand up until they have swallowed the last mouthful.

▪   Don’t talk with your mouth full.

▪   Take small bites of food and eat slowly.

▪   Chew well before swallowing.

▪   Teach older kids to keep small items away from baby – encourage them be a second pair of eyes for you.

And remember – children learn more from what we do than what we say. Be a good role model for children.

Be calm, be confident & use common sense!

There’s no better time than right now to update your first aid & CPR skills. Contact us to have a session in-home, in-office or in-studio.

Hey Super Moms & Dads! Have you checked out our BRAND NEW video about how to teach your kids about safety? This is a must watch video for every parent and it’s available now on our YouTube channel!

CPR Statistics Countdown

Here are some incredible CPR statistics from the American Heart Association & The (Canadian) Heart and Stroke Foundation:

38,000: Approximate number of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests that occur annually in Canada (most of which occur in-home).

911: The phone number to call as soon as you have determined that a victim is unresponsive.

90: Survival rate percentage if the cardiac arrest victim receives defibrillation within one minute of collapse.

70: Percentage of North Americans that may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or they are overdue for a training refresher.

32: Percentage of cardiac arrest victims that get CPR from a bystander.

10: Percentage decrease in survival rate for every 1 minute delay in defibrillation.

7: Number of minutes that lapse between someone in Canada having a heart attack.

5: Percentage of those who suffer cardiac arrest outside of hospital and survive.

2: The number of minutes it takes to get hands-only CPR trained.

1: The number of people it takes to save a life. Get trained today.

Additional Stats & Notes About CPR:

• Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

• Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors.

• Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack.

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating.

A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest.

• Statistically speaking, if called on to administer CPR in an emergency, the life you save is likely to be someone at home: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend.


Be calm, be confident & think common sense!


There’s no better time than right now to update your first aid & CPR skills. Contact us to have a session in-home, in-office or in-studio.

Hey Super Moms & Dads! Have you checked out our BRAND NEW video about how to teach your kids about safety? This is a must watch video for every parent and it’s available now on our YouTube channel!

Hands-Only CPR

Hands-only CPR has been getting a lot of buzz lately, and for good reason. It’s quick to learn, easy to remember and there’s no mouth-to-mouth action necessary!

Hands-only CPR is fantastic for those who want to learn quickly and don’t have time for a CPR course. Although hands-only CPR is certainly better than nothing, learning traditional CPR (breaths and compressions) and taking a class to better understand the anatomy and physiology of CPR, as well as providing the best possible victim care makes the chances of survival that much better. In a CPR class you will also get the opportunity to practice on a mannequin to simulate what CPR feels like, which can only help if you have to handle the real deal one day.

Two organizations leading the way in fantastic hands-only CPR public education are The American Heart Association and the British Heart Foundation. Both have great websites that are educating the public about what to do in case the unthinkable happens. Both provide very simple instructions and in addition, the British Heart Foundation has taken a memorable spin on the whole thing (click below to see what I mean!).

American Heart Association: “Call 911 & push hard and fast in the centre of the chest.”

British Heart Foundation: “Press hard and fast to the beat of Stayin’ Alive. It’s not as hard as it looks.”

I encourage you to check out both websites to watch the great videos and learn more about hands-only CPR.

In the meantime, remember that to be a fantastic first aider is to: be calm, be confident and use common sense!

There’s no better time to refresh your lifesaving skills. Visit our website to see our calendar or contact us directly about a session for your organization.

Have you checked out our FREE eBook for parents yet? Click here to get it!