How to manage choking in children?

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How to manage choking in children?

How to manage choking in children?

Choking is a risk for babies and young children. Always remain alert wherever your child is, they must not have small things around them which they can put in their mouth. Food can also be a choking danger. Young children may run, laugh, play or cry while they are having something in their mouth.

How to make eating safer

  • Avoid giving food or drink to children when they are running, laughing, playing or moving.
  • Stay close and watch children while they eat.
  • Encourage children to eat slowly, chew well and feed themselves.

How to make food safer for young children

  • Remove skins, cut lengthwise or cut into small pieces before offering fruits to children.
  • Round foods like grapes and cherry tomatoes, should be cut in half.
  • Remove seeds, pips and stones from foods likes cherries, stone fruit, olives.
  • Foods that are hard or crunchy such as raw apple, carrot and celery; offer them after grating, slicing, cooking or mashing.
  • Remove bones and cut into small pieces from foods like fish or chicken.

What to do if your kid chokes

  • Check child’s mouth and remove any food or object you can feel or see.
  • Ask the child to cough and remove anything that comes out.
  • Stay with your child and watch if your baby is breathing normally.
  • If there is any continued noisy breathing or coughing, take your child to a hospital as soon as possible, as the object may have stuck in an airway.
  • If the child is able to breathe do not hit child on the back or pushing on the stomach, because this may move the object into a more dangerous position.

If your child is not coughing forcefully or does not have a strong cry, follow these steps:

  1. Lay the infant face down, along your forearm. Use your thigh or lap for support. Hold the infant’s chest in your hand and hold the jaw with your fingers. Point the infant’s head downward, lower than the body.
  2. Give up to 5 quick, forceful blows between the infant’s shoulder blades. Use the palm of your free hand.

If the object does not come out of the airway after 5 blows:

  1. Turn the infant face-up. Use your thigh or lap for support. Support the head.
  2. Place 2 fingers on the middle of his breastbone just below the nipples.
  3. Give up to 5 quick thrusts down, compressing the chest 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the chest.
  4. Continue 5 back blows followed by 5 chest thrusts until the object is dislodged or the infant loses alertness (becomes unconscious).

If the Infant loses alertness

If the child becomes unresponsive, stops breathing, or turns blue:

  • Shout for help.
  • Give infant CPR. Call 911 after 1 minute of CPR.
  • If you can see the object blocking the airway, try to remove it with your finger. Try to remove an object only if you can see it.



  • 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.
  • Try to grasp and pull out the object if the infant is alert (conscious).
  • 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 infant CPR in these cases.


How to avoid choking in children?

  • Do not give children under 3 years old balloons or toys with small parts that can break off.
  • Keep infants away from buttons, popcorn, coins, grapes, nuts, and other small items.
  • Watch infants and toddlers while they are eating. Do not allow a child to crawl around while eating.
  • The earliest safety lesson is “No!”


Share this article with friends and family to help them act in case of a choking incident.

Do you have questions regarding your infant’s growth and health? Ask anonymously to verified doctors at MediMetry.