How to Help a Choking Child

Even if you’re home is completely childproofed, the risk of choking is still present as young children often put items inside their mouth. Children can choke on toys, tiny objects and even food.

This is why parents need to have knowledge and learn the techniques in helping a choking child. Keep in mind that various techniques are employed depending on the age of a child and doing them incorrectly can be harmful.



Here are some techniques to help a choking child aged one to 12 years old, according to Baby Center.

1.Evaluate the situation quickly.

Something is blocking a child’s airway if she is suddenly unable to cry, speak or cough. Her skin may turn bright red or blue and may make strange noises or no sound at all while opening her mouth.

A child coughing or gagging may have a partially blocked airway. If this is the case, encourage the child to cough as this is considered the most effective way to dislodge a blockage. Begin back blows and chest thrusts if coughing doesn’t dislodge the object. Immediately call emergency if the object remains inside.

If you think that the child’s airway is closed because her throat has swollen shut, probably due to an allergic reaction, call emergency right away. Children with heart problems should also be rushed to the emergency immediately.

2. Dislodge the object with abdominal thrusts and back blows.

Stand or kneel slightly behind a child that is conscious but is unable to speak, cough or breathe, or is starting to turn blue. Place one arm diagonally across her chest to provide support and lean her forward.

Using the heel of your hand, strike the child firmly in between her shoulder blades. Give five of these blows and keep in mind that each back blow must be a separate and distinct attempt to dislodge the object.

To do the abdominal thrusts, stand or kneel behind the child and wrap your arms around her waist. Using one or two fingers, locate the child’s belly button. Make a fist using your other hand and place the thumb side against against the middle of the child’s abdomen. This is located just above the belly button and well below the lower tip of her breastbone.

Give five quick upward thrusts into the abdomen by grabbing your fist with your other hand. Again, each abdominal thrust must be a separate and distinct attempt to dislodge the object.

3. If a child becomes unconscious, perform a modified CPR.

To perform a modified CPR, place the child on hes back on a firm, flat surface. Kneel beside her upper chest and place the heel of one hand on her breastbone or sternum located at the center of the chest. Put your hand directly on top of the first hand. Interlace or hold your fingers upward in order to keep them off your chest.

Push the child’s sternum down about 2 inches in order to do compressions. Let the chest return to its normal position before doing another compression. Do these 30 times.

Try to open the child’s mouth and look for an object. Immediately remove using your fingers if you see one.

Give the child two rescue breaths. You’ll be able to see if the breaths do go in if you see the chest rising. If the breaths don’t go in, do 30 compressions, check for an object and give two rescue breaths until the object is removed or help arrives.

If the following methods don’t work, perform CPR. Watch the video below.