No, no one choked at our house recently, but we did go into a lot of detail about swallowing and choking a few days ago.
I wanted to find a way for the kids to really understand how choking happens — and then to know what to do about it. Now, don’t take this as expert advice… if you really want to know details about doing abdominal thrusts (Heimlich Maneuver) I suggest you visit a site like the MayoClinic. I will however share the activities the kids and I did together.
If you saw my post from a couple of days ago then you know we’re learning about the Digestive System. We spent quite a bit of time learning about the mouth, teeth, chewing, saliva, the food bolus and so forth. We moved on to the swallowing process after that.
I drew a huge large face with all the mouth parts and we used a brad to create a moving/swinging epiglottis to block off the airway. The torn yellow piece of construction paper you see in the pictures below are the food bolus either going successfully down the esophagus or tragically getting stuck in the windpipe.
I printed out our face onto cardstock (you can print it out by downloading the pack below). We used an orange piece of foam for our epiglottis:
I also felt it was important for the kids to know what to do if they come across someone choking. More than 3,000 people die each year from choking (in the U.S.), most of those are children. The Red Cross recommends giving 5 back blows followed by 5 abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich Maneuver). We practiced on McKenna, the doll. LD (who isn’t into dolls. 🙂 ) especially liked doing that! Just so you know, the Red Cross recommends having a flat hand when doing the back blow (DD’s fingers are curled in the photo below and I didn’t notice that). See the Red Cross brochure for more details.
I also let the kids try to figure out how to do abdominal thrusts on me… that way they could feel my ribs and place their hand above my naval.
To bring everything together, I had a sheet for the kids to add to their science notebook. These pages are part of our Digestive System Packet; a 40+ page packet available for purchase
This packet includes worksheets, lapbook pieces as well our hands-on activities.
This 100+ page packet is now on sale for $5.99. See below for more details and all that is included:
Be sure to check your PayPal email address for the download link!
This is an instant purchase. Upon receipt of payment from Paypal, you will receive a link to immediately download this packet. You will also receive an email from SendOwl (the service I use) with a link to download your packet. If you have any trouble feel free to email me liesl at homeschoolden dot com.
What is included? Everything you see below:
The Digestive System Unit Packet now includes lapbook/notebook pieces:
You will also find worksheets and activity ideas about swallowing, the epiglottis and choking in this packet:
Pictionary Activity: They filled that out and then we went over some of the common foods that kids choke on. I had the kids brainstorm and then once they were stuck, I drew pictures and had them guess. They figured out hot dog and carrot right away, but were stumped on this… Can you guess?
At first I drew those figures on the right (they guessed stars, amoeba…) then I added in the “prison bars” — then I drew the scene on the top left. Finally, finally they guessed the answer… popcorn!! Then they groaned!
This was quite a bit easier to guess!
So what else do kids choke on? Here are 9 common foods:
- hard candy
- peanut butter
- hot dogs
- pop corn
I’m so glad we went over this information about choking. I’ve mentioned it to the kids before, but we really spent a long time and hopefully they remember what to do in an emergency. Like practicing what to do in case of a fire, I really should repeat this regularly with the kids. And since I brought it up, you can click here if you’re interested in seeing our Fire Safety Activities. I’ve been doing this regularly with the kids since LD was 4. The kids beg to do this (among other things I make an obstacle course and have the kids practice crawling to safety.) Hmmm… it’s been over a year, I really do need to go over our fire safety plan again — especially for ED.
- Creating a Homeschool Science Curriculum (Elementary): Science topics to cover, choosing and preparing for units and more.
- Human Body Systems: (50+ page Packet)
- Human Body Unit: Heart and Circulatory System Activities
- Human Body Unit: The Human Hand
- Human Body Unit: The Brain
- Human Body Egg-speriment: Protect that Brain!
- Human Body: Skeletal System
- Meet Vertebrae Man: Our Hands on Study of the Backbone and Nervous System
- Germ Lapbook
- Germ Experiment: Where do Germs Grow in Your House?
Check out our other science units:
- Rocks and Minerals: Free 25 page packet, free pages on the 3-types of rocks, lots of hands on activities
- Simple Machines: Lots of hands on activities, plus student worksheets