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What to Do if a Baby Is Choking: A Step By Step First Aid Guide

You might be a new mom or dad, and you are still trying to figure out how to properly care for your baby, this article will teach you what to do whenever your baby is choking, while it’s something no caregiver wants to think about, even seconds count if your child’s airway is obstructed. Knowing the basics can help you potentially dislodge an object or know what to do until help arrives. Choking in infants is usually caused by breathing in a small object that the baby has placed in their mouths, such as a button, coin, balloon, toy part, or watch battery.

Symptoms: Babies can’t talk, so you have to be observant of these symptoms to know if your baby is choking or not. The danger signs of choking are:

(a) Bluish facial skin color

(b) Difficulty breathing: ribs and chest pull inward

(c) Loss of consciousness (unresponsiveness) if the blockage is not cleared

(d) Inability to cry or make much sound

(e) Weak, ineffective coughing

(f) Soft or high-pitched sounds while inhaling

Steps to take if your baby is choking:

Step 1: Verify that your baby is actually choking: Your baby may be coughing or gagging. This can sound and look scary, but if they’re making noise and able to take breaths, they’re likely not choking. Choking is when a baby is unable to cry or cough. They also won’t be able to make any noise or breathe because their airway is completely obstructed.

Step 2: Call the hospital for an emergency: Ideally, you can have a friend or family member call 911 or local emergency services while you take care of your baby.

Step 3: Give up to five back blows: hold the baby face-down along your thigh with their head lower than their bottom. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades up to five times. If back blows do not dislodge the blockage, move on to step 4.

Source: Adam.

Step 4: Give up to five chest thrusts: turn the baby over so they are facing upwards. Find the breastbone and place 2 fingers in the middle. Give 5 sharp chest thrusts (pushes), compressing the chest by about a third.

Step 5: Repeat

If the object still hasn’t dislodged, return to back blows following the same instructions above. Then repeat the chest thrusts. Again, tell the hospital emergency operator immediately if your baby loses consciousness.


(a) Do not perform choking first aid if the infant is coughing forcefully, has a strong cry, or is breathing enough. However, be ready to act if the symptoms get worse.

(b) DO not try to grasp and pull out the object if the infant is alert (conscious).

(c) Do not do back blows and chest thrusts if the infant stops breathing for other reasons, such as asthma, infection, swelling, or a blow to the head. Do give the infant CPR in these cases.

Content created and supplied by: LIZZYhealthmedia (via Opera News )


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