Choking children (one year up)

If children are choking, they may not be able to make any noise. If they are unconscious, do CPR. If they are conscious, follow these steps.

Before helping the choking child

  • Have someone call 1669 for emergency
  • If you can see an object in the mouth, try to remove it. Be very careful not to push the object further in!
  • If the child is coughing, encourage the child to continue to bring up what they’re choking on.
  • If your child’s coughing is not effective (it’s silent or they can’t breathe), shout for help immediately and check whether your child is still conscious.
  • If your child is conscious, but the coughing isn’t effective, give abdominal thrusts.


Abdominal thrusts for children

  1. Stand or kneel behind your child. 
  2. Wrap your arms around the child’s waist, just below the bottom of the rib cage.
  3. Place your fist of one hand in the middle of the victim’s abdomen between the navel and the rib cage. 
  4. Hold your fist with the other hand and make powerful upward thrusts on the child’s diaphragm muscle located under the rib cage.
  5. Make sure you don’t apply pressure to the lower ribcage, as this may cause damage.

Continue care: Continue abdominal thrusts until the object is forced out, the child can cough and breathe or  until the child becomes unconscious.

Unconscious choking child

  • If unconscious, lay your child on a firm, flat surface 
  • Start CPR
  • Continue CPR until your child begins to recover or emergency help arrives


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