National Heimlich Maneuver Day

By: Amber Hunt, Jun 1st 2021

It’s not very often that you come across someone choking (especially with restaurants being closed for the last year), but today’s holiday is here to remind you about this life saving technique in case you are ever in this situation. I remember learning this in my babysitting classes when I was a teen, but really haven’t thought much about it since then.

In 1972, Dr. Henry J Heimlich read an article stating that nearly 3,000 people in America died from choking. Up until then, the common method for helping a choking victim was to slap them on the back, which can sometimes make things worse. So Dr. Heimlich was inspired to devise a method that could be done by anyone in a dire choking situation without having to wait for a medical professional. And voila! The Heimlich Maneuver was born!

So, to honor this holiday, I have a few facts about the Heimlich Maneuver to keep in mind if you ever find yourself needing to perform it:

-Always make sure to call 911 before you start the Heimlich

-Before performing, make sure to get consent

-This maneuver should not be performed on someone who is unconscious

-It is not recommended to use this on infants as their bones are weaker than children and adults

So stay safe, make sure to chew your food, and try not to talk while eating. Preventative measures can be just as useful as the Heimlich!