Pediatric upper airway obstruction occurs when a foreign object or medical condition blocks the windpipe (trachea), voice box (larynx) or throat (pharynx).
The upper airways include the nose, nasal passages, sinuses, throat and voice box. When these airways become obstructed (blocked), it can lead to complications. The anatomy of children’s upper airways makes them more vulnerable to upper airway obstruction.
Symptoms that your child's airway is blocked include:
Viral croup is one of the most common conditions that causes upper airway obstruction in children and can sound like a loud, “barking” cough. Swallowing a foreign object is another common cause of upper airway obstruction in children below 3-years old.
"A" is for AIRWAY. A child's breaths may be extremely faint and shallow - look, listen and feel for any signs of breathing. If there are none, the tongue may be obstructing the airway and preventing the child from breathing on his own.
Exercise extra caution when you open the victim's air passage using the head tilt/chin lift technique (Figure 1). This will shift the tongue away from the airway.
If the child is still not breathing after his airway has been cleared, you will have to assist him in breathing