Life-saving hack all parents need to know – here's how to keep your kids safe | The Sun

STARTING to give your little one solid foods for the first time can be overwhelming.

As careful as you are, it can seem like anything could be a be choking hazard for your baby.

If you're struggling to tell what foods are safe and which aren't, first aider Nikki Jurcutz from Tiny Hearts Education identified a hack every parent should know.

The paramedic – who specialises in baby and child first aid – called this tip the 'squish test' in a video shared to Instagram.

She wrote: "Whether you are baby led weaning or your little one is ready for finger food, the squish test is a great way to ensure you give your bub foods that are safe to reduce the risk of choking.

"The squish test helps you identify if the food is too hard so you can modify it to make is softer and safer."

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In the video, Nikki showed how to use the one second test to minimise babies and toddlers' choking risk.

All you have to do is pinch food you're planning to feed your baby between your forefinger and thumb.

The paramedic explained that "foods that are round, hard, slippery and the size of an airway increase the risk of choking".

"If you can't squish it, your baby can't chew it," Nicki wrote, adding: "Every parent should know this hack."

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The first aider demonstrated the hack on on pieces of banana and avocado, which turned into mush easily between her index finger and thumb.

But raw apple and carrot were both too hard to squish, meaning they could put your tot at risk of choking if they eat them.

But that doesn't mean you can't give your little ones these foods at all – Nicki showed how cooked apple and carrot are much more pliable and easy to mash.

Replying to comments under the video, Nikki also said "grating is another option you can use to help make the food safer".

The Australian-based first-aid educator had previously revealed the best ways to reduce your child's risk of choking, including not having food in the car and only eating at the table.

And she shared three things to never do if your little one swallows food wrong or put something inedible in their mouth.

NHS guidance states it's a good idea to wait until your baby is about six months old before giving them solid food.

Even if you're super careful, tots between the ages of one and five can choke on something. Watch out for your baby's face going red and puffy or them being unable to cry, breathe or cough.

Children might show similar signs and also indicate distress by pointing at their throat or grasping at their neck.

What to do if your child chokes

First aiders at St John Ambulance give the following advice based on the child’s age.


  1. 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  

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