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How to Avoid Choking
Direct Support Employees are on the front line, and must be ready to help if someone begins to choke.
Here are rules that each of us should follow to enhance safety and help to avoid choking incidents:
- Serve food that is prepared appropriately for each person you support. Foods and drinks must be prepared in specific ways for certain people. Make sure you understand the parameters, and follow them. Ask your supervisor if you have questions.
- Be present when anyone you support is eating. Eating is a social experience, and no one likes to eat alone. People eating in a social environment can be helped to eat more slowly. Remember, the most frequent time people choke is during a meal. Be there and be prepared.
- Do not ever eat or drink in a vehicle. If the person you support is eating, and you are driving, you will be delayed and unable to immediately help if the person begins to choke. Make it a rule that no one eats or drinks while in a car.
- Pick up small items that might be left out or that have fallen to the floor. Some of the people we support explore the world by putting non-edible things in their mouths. Be aware and avoid trouble by keeping the area free from small tempting items.