How to help a choking child

A choking child

A choking child between 1 year and the onset of puberty

Quickly look in their mouth, don’t put your fingers inside their mouth

If they’re able to understand – ask them to cough

This should dislodge the obstruction

If that fails, supporting them from the side, in a standing position.

Deliver 5 sharp blows with the heel of your hand between their shoulder blades.

Stop as soon as the obstruction clears.

If this hasn’t worked, stand or kneel behind them.

Bring your arms around their abdomen.

Create a fist with one hand then cup the fist, in the other hand.

Place your fist between their navel and the base of the breast bone (sternum).

Pull your hands sharply, towards you with an upward motion up to 5 times.

If that still hasn’t removed the obstruction

Shout for help and get someone to call for an ambulance, send them for an AED.

If there’s nobody else, phone yourself and keep the phone on speakerphone.

Keep repeating the 5 back slaps followed by the 5 abdominal thrusts until the obstruction is dislodged, or the casualty collapses to the floor.

If they are unable to breathe so start CPR immediately. Remember children need 5 rescue breaths before starting compressions

A Baby up to 1 year

If the choking child is a baby, SHOUT for Help,

Look in the mouth, don’t try to remove the obstruction with your fingers, you may push it further in.

Sit yourself down or kneel on the floor, lay the baby face down along your leg, so their head is lower than the chest.

With the heel of your hand slap firmly between the shoulder blades up to 5 times.

If this fails turn the child over, support the head and keeping it lower than the chest, using 2 fingers sharply push on the chest between the nipples, up to 5 times.

If the obstruction is still there, Call 999 for an ambulance.

Repeat the sequence and be prepared to begin CPR. Remember babies need 5 rescue breaths before starting compressions.