A Child Is Choking! Basic First Aid

October 27, 2014 Cheryl Smith Children's Health, Choking, CPR, First Aid

Choking ChildWe all hope we will never be put in the position of having to save a child’s life, but it could happen. Children of all ages test their physical limits and get caught in all kinds of dangerous situations. They choke on food or candy, fall off bikes and playground equipment, and take a leap into water unsupervised.

Here are a few steps to explain the basics of first aid for choking, but do yourself a favor and don’t rely on this as your sole source of information. Set aside a few hours to attend a class with CPR Choice to learn the proper techniques. Techniques differ depending on the age of the child, and doing them improperly can be harmful- learn the right technique today!

Children under a year old:

  • Turn infant facedown over your forearm or on your lap if you can’t manage the forearm position, hold their jaw with one hand to support the head, which should be lower than the chest.
  • Using the heel of your free hand, deliver five quick slaps between the shoulder blades.
  • If still can’t breathe, try chest thrusts: While holding your baby, turn face-up, keeping the head lower than the chest. Place two fingers in the middle of the chest and give five thrusts.
  • Repeat with back blows and chest thrusts until the object is visible and you can remove it.

Children over 1 year old:

  • Stand behind the child with your arms around their waist.
  • Make a fist with one hand, placing the thumb side against the child’s stomach above the navel, but below the rib cage.
  • Grasp the fist with your other hand and quickly thrust inward and upward.
  • If your child becomes unresponsive, instruct someone to call 9-1-1 and begin CPR immediately.

Toddlers & Older Children:

  • If your child is still making sounds, tell them to cough, which may dislodge the object. (Don’t try to remove a foreign object unless you see it, or you could push it farther into the airway.)
  • Ask “Are you choking?” If they nod yes or can’t respond, they need help.
  • Give five back blows, bending them forward and provide five sharp back blows with the heel of one hand in the middle of the back between the shoulder blades. Check with the child after each blow.
  • If the obstruction does not clear after the back blows, give five chest thrusts. Place one hand in the middle of the back for support and the heel of your other hand in the CPR compression position and give five chest thrusts, slower but sharper than CPR compressions.  Check with the child after each thrust.
  • Call 9-1-1 and alternate between back and chest thrusts if the object is still lodged.
  • Perform CPR if the child becomes unconscious.

Learn the proper techniques to save a life, it very well could be a loved one!  Check out our calendar to find a class for individuals or complete the form for on-site group training.  We guarantee it will be the best CPR class you have ever taken!  We currently serve the Knoxville, Maryville and Tri-cities area of Tennessee (TN).  Visit one of our websites for specific information for your area.



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