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All eateries should be prepared to respond to choking

I WRITE in regard to the article “BILL requires safety measure of all eateries” (Metro, Oct. 10), which describes opposition to a Massachusetts bill that would expand the number of restaurants requiring a trained “choke saver” on site.

Some years ago I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Henry Heimlich, who regaled me with stories about people who saved lives of others who were choking by using his Heimlich maneuver. His favorite was the firefighter who taught the maneuver to his elementary-school-aged children the day he learned it.

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The 4-year-old was in the room, but obviously he was too young to be taught this. The next day their mother stepped out of the room while the 1-year-old was eating in his high chair and the 4-year-old was playing nearby. When she came back a minute later, the 1-year-old was smiling but had tears running down his cheeks. When she asked the 4-year-old what happened, he said the infant began to choke on a piece of food, so he did the thing his father had taught the night before.

If a 4-year-old is capable of learning how to save someone who is choking, I’m surprised that the Restaurant and Business Alliance doesn’t want all establishments that serve food to train ALL their staff in this life-saving action.

Jean Caldwell

Springfield

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