Our little hero! Boy, five, saves sister from choking on chips

Five-year-old Henleigh Steele noticed his sister was choking during the fireworks and alerted his family.  He is pictured with sister, nineteen-month-old Harper Steele.
Five-year-old Henleigh Steele noticed his sister was choking during the fireworks and alerted his family. He is pictured with sister, nineteen-month-old Harper Steele.
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A five-year-old boy has been hailed a hero after saving his sister from choking.

Henleigh Steele, who has muscular dystrophy, saved 18-month-old Harper after she got into difficulty during a family trip to watch the fireworks on Blackpool Promenade on Friday night.

Drowned out by the roar of the fireworks, mum Georgina, 24, and dad Ashley, 25, could not hear little Harper as she began to choke on a chip.

Georgina said: “If it wasn’t for Henleigh we might never have known what was going on. She could have choked to death in her pram and we would never have known.”

Henleigh alerted his parents to the danger when he noticed his sister coughing and turning blue in the face.

Georgina, who works as a full-time carer for Henleigh and his brother Harley, four, who also has muscular dystrophy, said: “The first thing we knew was Henleigh shouting ‘Mummy, Mummy!’ and telling me to look at Harper. Her face was purple and she couldn’t breathe.

“My first reaction was to snatch her out of the pram and slap her on the back. I was panicking - it all happened so fast.”

The family managed to dislodge the piece of food from Harper’s throat before rushing her to paramedics from St John’s ambulance service, who were present at the scene, who quickly confirmed the toddler had not suffered any serious damage.

Ashley said: “It was horrible - really horrible. When something like that happens you automatically think the worst. You don’t want to think what might’ve happened if Henleigh hadn’t shouted when he did.”

Georgina said: “Thank goodness she was OK and we managed to get to her before it was too late.

“Henleigh is my little hero. Without him who knows what could have happened.

“Because of his age you might not think he’d have the sense to realise what was going on and shout us, but he did.

“He’s amazing. He’s a real hero and I couldn’t be prouder.”

An NHS spokesman said: “Children, particularly those aged from one to five, often put objects in their mouth. This is a normal part of how they explore the world.

“If your child is coughing loudly, there’s no need to do anything. Encourage them to carry on coughing and don’t leave them.

“If your child’s coughing is not effective (it’s silent or they can’t breathe in properly), shout for help immediately.

“If your child is still conscious, but they’re either not coughing or their coughing is not effective, use back blows.

“If a choking child is, or becomes, unconscious, put them on a firm, flat surface and call 999.”