Tip of the Week: Preventing choking

A combination of thick saliva, an uncoordinated swallow, and a rush to eat make choking a real and dangerous hazard for people diagnosed with PWS. For this reason, it is imperative that all family members, babysitters, teachers, and staff are trained in CPR. As described earlier this week on our blog, a staff member at Latham provided a life-saving intervention when one of our individuals choked on food.

In addition to knowing what to do in a choking emergency, there are things you can do to help minimize the risk: Always encourage slow eating or the “pace and chase” method, which is taking a small bite, then a sip of their drink, and continuing this throughout the meal. Cutting food into small bites, teaching slow eating, and making sure fluids are always available during meals can prevent a choking incident with your child.


Patrice Carroll is Latham Centers’ world-renowned Prader-Willi Syndrome specialist. She works with Latham Centers’ residents with PWS, their families, and consultants, continuously learning and teaching about PWS best practices.

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