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First Aid for Babies

How to Treat a Choking Baby: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Treat a Choking Baby: Step-by-Step Guide


Choking is a common emergency situation that can occur in babies. It can be a terrifying experience for parents, but knowing how to handle it can save your baby’s life. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to treat a choking baby.

Step 1: Recognize the Signs of Choking in Babies

The first step in treating a choking baby is to recognize the signs of choking. These may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Inability to cry or make any noise
  • Blue or purplish skin, especially around the lips and nails
  • Grasping or tugging at the throat or chest
  • Coughing or gagging

If you notice any of these signs, your baby may be choking. It is important to act quickly to save their life.

Step 2: Call for Help

As soon as you notice that your baby is choking, call for help. If you are not alone, ask someone to call emergency services while you attend to your baby. If you are alone, call emergency services yourself.

Step 3: Perform Back Blows

To perform back blows, hold your baby face down on your forearm, supporting their head and neck with your hand. Use the other hand to give firm back blows between their shoulder blades. Repeat this up to five times. If the object does not come out, go to step 4.

Step 4: Perform Chest Thrusts

If back blows do not work, you can perform chest thrusts. Hold your baby face up, with their head lower than their chest. Put two fingers on the middle of their chest, just below the nipple line, and give five firm chest thrusts. Repeat this up to five times. If the object does not come out, go to step 5.

Step 5: Perform CPR

If the object does not come out after chest thrusts, perform CPR. First, check the baby’s airway by opening their mouth and looking inside. Remove any visible object if possible. Then, give two rescue breaths. If the chest does not rise with each breath, go to step 6.

Step 6: Continue with CPR

Continue with CPR by alternating 30 chest compressions with two rescue breaths until emergency services arrive or the object comes out.


Choking in babies is a serious emergency situation that requires immediate action. By recognizing the signs of choking and following the steps outlined in this article, you can give your baby the best chance of survival. Remember to stay calm and call for help as soon as possible.

FAQ: How to Treat a Choking Baby: Step-by-Step Guide

What is choking and why is it dangerous for babies?

Choking happens when the airway of a person is blocked by an object, making it difficult or impossible to breathe. This is very dangerous for babies because their airways are smaller, making them more susceptible to choking. Babies may choke on small objects, food, and even their own vomit, so it is important to know how to deal with choking.

What should I do if my baby is choking on something?

If your baby is choking, act fast and call for emergency medical help immediately. While waiting for help to arrive, you can try to dislodge the object from your baby’s throat by performing back blows and chest thrusts. Follow the steps in our step-by-step guide to help your baby breathe:

  1. Position your baby face-down on your forearm, his head in your hand, and his mouth and nose pointing downwards. Support his jaw with your fingers.
  2. Give five firm back blows with the heel of your hand between your baby’s shoulder blades.
  3. Turn your baby over, supporting his head and neck and repeat five chest thrusts.
  4. If the object is still lodged in your baby’s airway, repeat the sequence of five back blows and five chest thrusts until the object dislodges or emergency medical help arrives.

What is the difference between back blows and chest thrusts?

Back blows involve hitting your baby’s back with the heel of your hand between the shoulder blades to help dislodge the object. Chest thrusts, on the other hand, involve placing two or three fingers at the center of your baby’s chest, just below the nipples, and pushing downwards to create pressure that can help dislodge the object.

Should I ever perform the Heimlich maneuver on a choking baby?

No, the Heimlich maneuver is not appropriate for babies under one year old. It can cause serious injury to their delicate bodies and can push the object further down their airway, making the situation worse.

How can I prevent choking in babies?

Prevention is always the best course of action. To prevent choking in babies, make sure to supervise them closely when they are eating, and to avoid giving them small, hard, or round foods that they can easily choke on. Cut their food into small pieces and remove any bones and seeds before feeding them. Keep small objects, such as coins, toys, and buttons, out of their reach. Finally, take an infant CPR and first aid course to be prepared for any emergency situation.

What should I do after my baby has choked and the object has been dislodged?

After the object has been dislodged, monitor your baby closely for any signs of respiratory distress, such as difficulty breathing or increased heart rate. If your baby continues to have trouble breathing, or if he turns blue or loses consciousness, call for emergency medical help immediately.

Related Products for Dealing with Choking in Infants

  • Baby Nasal Aspirator:

    Choking can often cause infants to inhale objects or mucus, compromising their breathing. A nasal aspirator helps in clearing the baby’s airways by safely removing excess mucus. It is a must-have tool for parents dealing with infants who have a tendency to choke.

  • Baby CPR & First Aid Kit:

    Choking can sometimes lead to cardiac arrest, which makes it essential for parents to know CPR. A baby CPR & first aid kit provides everything needed to perform first aid procedures at home, giving parents peace of mind. It can be used in case of choking, falls, or any other emergency that requires medical attention.

  • Baby Food Masher:

    Babies who are beginning solids are at a higher risk of choking as they are new to the concept of chewing and swallowing. A baby food masher or grinder helps in creating manageable pieces of food for the baby, reducing the chances of choking. It also helps in introducing the baby to new textures and flavors of food.

  • Baby Teething Toys:

    Babies put everything in their mouths, which makes them prone to choking hazards. Teething toys help in satisfying the baby’s urge to chew on things while ensuring that they are safe to use. Choosing the right type of teething toy is important, and parents should look for toys that are soft, non-toxic, and easy to clean.

  • Baby High Chair:

    A baby high chair is a safe and secure seating arrangement for infants during meal times. It provides a comfortable and stable place for the baby to eat, reducing the chances of choking while also making it easier for parents to monitor their eating habits. High chairs also come with safety straps and adjustable heights, making them a versatile tool for parents.

  • Baby Monitor:

    Babies can choke during sleep, which makes it essential for parents to monitor their breathing and movements. A baby monitor helps in keeping track of the baby’s sleep patterns, ensuring that they are sleeping peacefully and breathing regularly. It can also alert parents in case of any irregularities, offering an added layer of security.

  • Baby Suction Bowl:

    Babies tend to spill food and water while eating, making it a choking hazard. A baby suction bowl is designed to adhere to the surface, preventing it from tipping over and spilling. This reduces the mess and also minimizes the chance of the baby choking on spilled food or water.

  • Baby Swaddle Blanket:

    Babies who are swaddled tend to sleep better and experience less anxiety, resulting in fewer interruptions and fewer chances of choking. Swaddling also helps in keeping the baby’s arms and legs in a secure position, preventing them from accidentally hitting their face or mouth. A baby swaddle blanket is soft and breathable, making it perfect for infants.

Pros & Cons: How to Treat a Choking Baby


  • Quick and Effective: The techniques discussed in the “How to Treat a Choking Baby” guide can be performed quickly and effectively to save a baby’s life in emergency situations.
  • Easy to Understand: The guide outlines step-by-step instructions that are relatively easy to understand even for those with limited first aid experience.
  • Saves Time: Knowing how to properly treat a choking baby can save you critical moments that would have otherwise been spent panicking and trying to figure out what to do.
  • Prevents Brain Damage: Choking cuts off oxygen supply to the brain, which can result in serious brain damage or even death. The guide’s techniques can prevent this from happening by clearing the airway and restoring oxygen flow.
  • Increases Confidence: Having knowledge of how to treat a choking baby can increase your confidence in being able to handle emergencies, making you more prepared and less anxious in such situations.
  • Cons:

  • Potentially Harmful: Incorrectly performing the techniques outlined in the guide can result in further injury to the baby, such as damaging their airway or causing vomiting.
  • Requires Practice: While the guide is easy to understand, it still requires practice to perfect the techniques and react quickly in emergency situations.
  • Not Always Successful: In some cases, the techniques may not work and the baby may require medical attention. Knowing when to call for medical assistance is crucial and this is not always easy to determine.
  • Difficult to Perform on Yourself: The guide is intended for use on a choking baby, and performing the techniques on oneself can be difficult or impossible in emergency situations.
  • Emotional Stress: Even if you are able to successfully perform the techniques, dealing with the stresses of an emergency situation and the possibility of an injured baby can be emotionally taxing.

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