As an ER doctor, I've seen countless patients whose lives were saved by a quick-thinking and knowledgeable bystander or loved one. We never know where life may lead -- and every single one of us can learn these life-saving techniques. (Cue ER theme music).
Imagine you are dining in a restaurant with a friend, and your friend suddenly begins to choke on a piece of food, grabbing for her neck. What do you do? Did you say the Heimlich Maneuver? Hopefully so. The Heimlich's simplicity makes it easy to recall during extremely stressful situations.
Aside from my tear-filled "thank you," in the center of the restaurant, we haven't spoken since 12:05 p.m. Eastern Time. And I only know that because in my clenched hand is my iPhone, still showing the recent call history of 911.
We can't prevent every conceivable tragedy that might strike our kids at school. But in the case of a choking, physically demonstrating the Heimlich maneuver to school food service workers as part of their regular training hardly seems burdensome.