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Save a Life and Learn the First Aid for Choking Child
Save a Life and Learn the First Aid for Choking Child

12+ Months


When it is time to introduce solids as a complementary feeding to a breastfed baby, moms usually prepares everything beforehand. Starting with looking up recipe, information about nutritional source that may be needed, to maybe reading about how to handle a choking episode. Although maybe choking can still happen when baby is only breastfed.

When baby chokes it means there is something, can be food, liquid or small objects that gets through the air way valve and into the air way making them difficult to breath. The air way valve should be closed when food or liquid is swallowed.

When choking, usually the object that is swallowed will be trying to be expelled by way of coughing. This is the natural reaction of human body to expel the swallowed object. If it cannot be expelled naturally, the object then can block the air way and delay oxygen supply to the brain; it is why first aid has to be given as soon as possible.

The sign if someone is choking is their hand usually grips their throat or chest. But if it doesn’t happen and they don’t give up that signal, then other indication to check is:

  • Unable to talk
  • Looks panicked, unable to cry
  • Breathing difficulty, audible breathing or gasping for breath
  • Unable to cough to expel the foreign material
  • Skin, lips and nails becomes blue or blackish
  • Altered consciousness
If a child under one year old is choking, this is what you have to immediately do:
  • Call for help
  • If mom is unable to see the object, try to get it out carefully; do not push it with finger because object can be pushed further down the throat.
  • Position baby on your forearm, support by thighs. Hold the head, jaw, and cheekbone with your finger. Position the head lower than the body.
  • Give a tap between the shoulder blade, with the base of the hand, 5 times.
  • If object is still not expelled, turn baby with the head facing upward but position it lower than the body. Hold the head and neck, and push in the middle of the breast bone exactly below the middle line between left and right nipple with 2 or 3 finger. Do it fast 5 times.
  • Repeat above process until the object is expelled. If the child lost consciousness then Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is needed. When giving breathing assistance, try to remove object only if it is visible and reachable. If not, then it is better not to do it.
Meanwhile, if a child above one year old is choking, then do these things:
  • If the child can strongly cough, encourage them to continue coughing until the object is out and do not leave them. If child’s cough is ineffective, or they are silent and unable to breathe correctly, immediately call for help.
  • Stand exactly behind the child, hunch them a little bit forward, brace them at the waist, and give five back blows slowly at the back between the shoulder blades. Use the base of your hand.
  • If it is still unsuccessful, stand the child up, do abdominal thrust by circling your arm on your child stomach and then make a fist in the middle of the stomach, above the belly button. Stump your fist upward while pulling your child body backward five times.
  • Repeat above process until the object can be expelled and child can cough or breathe. If the object is successfully expelled, you should still bring your child to the hospital to have a thorough evaluation.

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