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VIDEO: Flipping Hero: Quick-Thinking Trooper Saves Toddler From Choking On Pancake

Officer’s blows to the back bring lifeless boy back from the brink.

A New York state trooper saved the life of a two-year-old boy who was choking on a piece of pancake.

The incident took place in Binghamton, New York, when trooper David Draudt responded to a call about a child choking and being unresponsive.

Body camera footage of the incident starts by shows the officer getting out of his police car and running up to a home.

The boy’s grandmother, who has not been named, waves him inside the house, and he runs in.

There, the 2-year-old, who has not been named, can be seen lying motionless on the floor in the kitchen.

Draudt enters the kitchen and the unnamed mother of the young boy can be seen cradling him in her arms.

In the footage, to which officer Draudt added his own commentary of how the incident unfolded, it is revealed that the young boy had apparently choked on a piece of pancake and that the mother had attempted to perform the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the piece of food trapped in the boy’s windpipe.

A closer view of the scene a New York State Police trooper came upon in response to a call about a choking child with his mother (lower right, faces obscured). (New York State Police/Zenger)

The Heimlich maneuver — also known as abdominal thrusts — is a first-aid procedure that is used to dislodge foreign objects that have obstructed the airway. It is named after a Cincinnati physician who developed the technique in the early 1970s.

The young boy was “new to starting some dry foods,” said Draudt, who explained he first tried “to clear his airway with my finger, but his jaws not closed, so then I just began giving him back blows until I could hear him start to breathe again. At least I knew what I was doing was working.”

He was then able to retrieve the piece of food from the young boy’s mouth.

“I’m just happy that I was in the right place at the right time,” the officer said.

In sharing the footage online, the New York State police said, “The boy’s mom says they are able to be with their son today because of Trooper Draudt.

“Job well done.”

David Draudt, the New York State Police trooper who saved the life of a choking 2-year-old boy. (New York State Police/Zenger)

Unfortunately, the Binghamton youngster has plenty of company in experiencing a traumatic choking.

“The most common cause of nonfatal choking in young children is food,” reports the New York Department of Health. “At least one child dies from choking on food every five days in the U.S., and more than 12,000 children are taken to a hospital emergency room each year for food-choking injuries.”

The health department offers a variety of strategies for helping prevent such incidents:

  • Never leave a small child unattended while eating. Direct supervision is necessary.
  • Children should sit up straight when eating, should have sufficient number of teeth, and the muscular and developmental ability needed to chew and swallow the foods chosen. Remember, not all children will be at the same developmental level. Children with special health care needs are especially vulnerable to choking risks.
  • Children should have a calm, unhurried meal and snack time.
  • Children should not eat when walking, riding in a car or playing.
  • Cut foods into small pieces, removing seeds and pits. Cook or steam vegetables to soften their texture. Cut hot dogs lengthwise and widthwise.
  • Model safe eating habits and chew food thoroughly.
  • Offer plenty of liquids to children when eating, but solids and liquids should not be swallowed at the same time. Offer liquids between mouthfuls.

Edited by Matthew B. Hall and Kristen Butler

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