Why This Mom Couldn't Save Her Choking Baby -- Even Though She'd Just Taken a CPR Class

Beaded pacifier clip
Kahla Hilton/Facebook

Before becoming parents, every mom and dad should learn infant CPR. But just because you completed the course doesn't mean your job is done -- or that you'd be able to save your child if those hypothetical situations become your terrifying reality. Mom Kahla Hilton learned this after her baby started choking just weeks after the mom completed a baby safety course. She wasn't able to save Lukah on her own. Now, she's spreading the word about what parents don't realize about CPR training.

  • Lukah was in her stroller, sitting right next to Hilton, when she started choking on a bead from a teething garland.

    "I turned to look at her and noticed she had something in her mouth, and at first thought it was the end of her dummy chain, which she often chews on ... until I remembered she didn't have her dummy chain on," she wrote. "About a split second later I realized that it was a bead from her teething garland, which has been hanging across her pram for months for her to chew on." 

    Hilton quickly put her finger in Lukah's mouth and was able to remove a bead. However, she then saw that there was another piece stuck about halfway down her throat.

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  • "I started to panic, she was choking, and I froze," Hilton wrote.

    Despite this accident happening at the most opportune time -- with Hilton right there and just weeks after she was trained on what to do in emergencies just like this -- Hilton couldn't act to save Lukah. "As she went from pink, to red, to blue, I screamed at the top of my lungs for someone to help," she wrote. "My baby was going to die, that's all I could think about."

    Hilton started screaming "like an absolute crazy person," and her shrieks got the attention of one man, who "ran across the carpark, jumped through the open window, scooped Lukah up and had her in a downward position and giving her blows to the back within what seemed like half a second," she wrote. "This man was ex-military, and he saved my baby's life. I owe him everything."

    After spending the rest of the afternoon at the hospital running tests to ensure that Lukah hadn't swallowed any other beads, the baby is perfectly fine -- but Hilton isn't. "I haven't slept yet. I'm paranoid. I can't get the image out of my head," she wrote. "And I can't stop thinking that if that man wasn't there the outcome would've been a lot worse. He really is a superhero."

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  • Now, Hilton hopes that no other parents make the same mistakes.

    According to Hilton, two things went wrong in this situation that could've led to a drastically different ending for Lukah: She trusted a baby product despite the beads, and she assumed her recent training would be enough in the event of an emergency. "I don't put blame on anyone for this happening. Not at all. But I do want to slap myself silly for putting so much trust in a piece of string. Never again," she wrote. "Everything made with teething beads has been thrown out. And I highly recommend all parents consider doing the same."

    Hilton didn't share the brand of her daughter's teething garland, but she noted that all of them could pose a risk. "If you've ever purchased one of these products, you'll notice that they all mention the safety procedures they've been made under, which is there to make parents feel comfortable," she wrote. "But if you read further, you'll notice in most cases there's also a disclaimer, that no responsibility will be taken in the case of injury or death. Death!!!"
  • Some people are blaming Hilton for "not knowing" what to do and admittedly watching her baby choke.

  • Many are taking her advice to get rid of their beaded products -- and tagging friends to do the same.

    "In this instance, we were lucky. Lukah definitely had a guardian angel watching over her yesterday. I would hate to hear of this happening to anyone else, especially if the outcome is worse," Hilton added. "Be safe. Get rid of them, or give them a good check over if you want to continue using them."

  • Others related to the mom and admit that freezing does happen, even when it's your own baby.

    "I can vouch for this... I watched my youngest fall down my friends stairs yesterday... I was just too far away (the baby gate had been left open) and I just froze..." one user wrote. "All I could do was scream and watch him tumble ... he was completely fine just scared him ... but I still hate myself for not racing down after him ... it's horrible when sheer panic sets in and all you can do is freeze."

    Hilton hopes that her terrifying experience will help parents realize that no matter how prepared you are, you could still falter in the moment, which means one CPR course simply isn't enough. Parents need to practice over and over again to be truly prepared. "In this instance I was unable to help my daughter with what I learned in that course" she wrote. "It's not uncommon for a parent to freeze when it's their own child."

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