Written by Lina Roberts
“Are you choking?” she asked, peering into Heidi’s face.
“You. Call 911,” she ordered then proceeded to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a cleverly designed doll made for just that purpose.
Initially developed in 2011 to teach sixth grade students this life-saving technique, the Heimlich Heroes program has been used to educate children nationwide like American Heritage Girls Troop VA 0428. Designed by teachers for teachers, the functional, life-sized dolls named “Hank” and “Heidi” each feature an internal diaphragm, lungs and windpipe that make hands-on practice of the Heimlich possible.
On July 19th, AHG Troop 0428, sponsored by All Saints Church in Woodbridge, was able to learn and practice how to recognize when someone is choking, how to take immediate and effective action and how to prevent the risk in the future. They learned to perform the Heimlich when the victim is both standing and lying down as well as how to perform the Heimlich on themselves and to coach a much bigger person on how to perform the Heimlich themselves using a chair back.
The free program, offered to school, scouting and other groups with children as young as 6 years old, includes a training DVD, teaching aids, tri-fold organizer and flip books for students to record information, bookmarks, wristbands, achievement badges and temporary loan of the dolls.
For more information on bringing this program to your group, visit www.heimlichheroes.com.