What Should You Do if a Child is Choking?

Children are vulnerable to choking since they are curious about things, and the only way they recognise things or objects is by putting them in their mouths. And this is a normal part of how they explore the world. So what should you do if your child is choking?

This blog will help you recognise the signs that your child is choking and what to do in such accident.

What is choking?

Choking occurs when a foreign object is lodged in the throat or windpipe, blocking the flow of air. Choking can cause a simple coughing fit, but complete blockage may lead to death.

What are the types of choking?

Identifying what kind of airway obstruction a person is suffering from is vital, as this will inform the type of assistance required.

The types of choking are:

  • Mild choking - If choking is mild, the casualty will be able to cough and answer ‘’yes’’ to your question.
  • Severe choking
  • Weakening cough
  • Unable to speak - May ‘nod’ in response to your question.
  • Struggling or unable to breathe.
  • Distressed look on their face.
  • Will become unconscious if untreated.

Once you have identified the type of airway obstruction a person has, you can respond accordingly.

How to administer back blows for infants under 1 year?

The baby may attempt to cough. If the choking is only mild, this will clear the obstruction - the baby may cry and should now be able to breathe effectively.

If the cough becomes ineffective:

  • Back blows
  • Sit or lay the baby over your lap, face down, head lowest, supporting the head.
  • Give up to 5 sharp blows between the shoulder blondes with the heel of your hand. The aim is to relieve the choking with each blow rather than give all 5.

If the obstruction is still not cleared:

  • Chest thrusts
  • Turn the baby's chest uppermost (lay them on your aim). Support the head and lower it below the level of the chest.
  • Use two fingers to give up to 5 chest thrusts. These are similar to chest compressions but sharper and delivered at a slower rate.
  • NEVER perform abdominal thrusts on a baby.
  • Repeat back blows and chest thrusts
  • If the treatment seems ineffective, shout for help. Ask someone to call 999/112 for emergency help, but don’t interrupt the treatment while the baby is still conscious.
  • If the baby becomes unconscious, START CPR.

How to administer back blows for children over 1 year?

  • Back blows
  • Lay a small child face down on your lap as you would a baby.
  • If this isn't possible, support your child in a forward-leaning position and give 5 back blows from behind.

If back blows don't relieve the choking and your baby or child is still conscious, give chest thrusts to infants under 1 year or abdominal thrusts to children over 1 year.

This will create an artificial cough, increasing pressure in the chest and helping dislodge the object.

If the obstruction is still not cleared:

  • Chest thrusts
  • Lay your baby face-up along the length of your thighs.
  • Find the breastbone and place two fingers in the middle.
  • Give 5 sharp chest thrusts (pushes), compressing the chest by about a third.
  • Repeat back blows and chest thrusts
  • If the treatment seems ineffective, shout for help. Ask someone to call 999/112 for emergency help, but don’t interrupt the treatment while the baby is still conscious.
  • If the baby becomes unconscious, START CPR.

How to prevent choking?

You can prevent choking in infants and children by following these safety measures:

  • Keep marbles, beads, coins, and other small toys.
  • Prevent children from walking, running, or playing when they have food and toys in their mouths.
  • Supervise mealtimes with young children.
  • Prevent older siblings from giving dangerous food or toys to a young child.

Where can I find online first aid training courses for choking children?

The Mandatory Training Group is the leading UK provider of accredited statutory and mandatory training courses for all sectors, including health and social care, education, local government, private companies, charitable and third sector organisations.

Alternatively, you can contact our helpful Support Team byclicking hereto tell us your first aid training courses for choking children.

Online first aid training courses and qualifications for choking children

What our clients say...

Frequently asked questions and answers about what should you do if a child is choking

Here at The Mandatory Training Group, we receive many questions about what should you do if a child is choking. We have selected a few of these questions and answered them below.

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What should you do if a child is choking? - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

What should you do if a child is choking? - The Mandatory Training Group UK.

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