Signs a child is choking: what to do
Here are signs a child is choking: coughing, gagging, wheezing, distress, choking noises, rattling breathing sounds, no breathing, no sounds, paleness, blue colour, and loss of consciousness.
Bend the child forward. Use the heel of your hand to give a firm back blow between the shoulder blades. Give up to five back blows. Check between each blow to see if the blockage has cleared. If it hasn’t cleared, try chest thrusts.
Choking first aid: next steps
Put one hand in the middle of the child’s back and the other hand in the centre of the chest. Use the heel of the hand on the chest to do five chest thrusts – like CPR compressions but slower and sharper. Check to see if the blockage has cleared between each thrust.
Always follow the age recommendations on toys. Avoid toys with small parts, breakable parts, brittle surfaces or button batteries. Check toys for exposed stuffing and loose screws and buttons.
Get your child to sit while eating. Encourage your child to chew and swallow properly.
Your child is more likely to choke if they eat while lying down, running around or playing.