If infants 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, use back blows.
Back blows for choking infant:
- Sit down and lay your baby face down along your thighs, supporting their head with your hand.
- Give up to 5 sharp back blows with the heel of 1 hand in the middle of the back between the shoulder blades.
- After 5 back blows, if your baby is still coughing and conscious, give chest thrusts.
Chest thrusts for choking infant:
- Lay your baby face up along the length of your thighs.
- Place two or three fingers in the center of the infant’s chest just below the nipple line.
- Give 5 sharp chest thrusts (pushes), compressing the chest by about 4 cm
- After 5 chest thrusts, if your baby is still coughing and conscious, give back blows.
Continue care: Continue sets of 5 back blows and 5 chest 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
- Open the child’s mouth. If the object’s clearly visible and you can grasp it easily, remove it.
- Start CPR
- Continue CPR until your child begins to recover or emergency help arrives
- Saving choking infant - American Red Cross (https://www.redcross.org/content/dam/redcross/atg/PDF_s/Health___Safety_Services/Training/Pediatric_ready_reference.pdf)
- Saving choking infant - National Health Service (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/helping-choking-baby/)
- Saving choking infant - Kids Health (https://www.kidshealth.org.nz/choking-what-do)