Baby choking - first aid for parents


Your baby may be choking if they suddenly become distressed, have noisy breathing, if they are unable to cry or cough. In some cases they may not be able to make any noise or breathe.

Watch our video - Choking baby

Choking baby ‒ what you need to do

Slap it out

choking baby

  • Sit down and lay them face down along your thigh supporting their head.
  • Supporting the baby's head, give up to five sharp blows between their shoulder blades with the heel of your hand.


Choking baby

• Then check their mouth to see if there's anything in there and if there is: If you can, pick the object out carefully with your fingertips ‒ take care not to push it further in.

Squeeze it out

Unblock airway

  • If the back blows fail to clear the blockage, give up to five chest thrusts:
  • With the baby laid face up along the length of your thigh, put two fingers just below the level of their nipples and push inwards and downwards, towards the baby's head up to five times. Check their mouth and carefully pick the object out.
  • If they’re still choking, repeat back blows and chest thrusts up to three times, or until you've dislodged what's in there and they can breathe again.

Call for help

Call for help

• If they're still choking after you've repeated these steps three times, call 999 or 112 for an ambulance.

• Once you’ve called an ambulance, continue steps 2 and 3 (back blows and chest thrusts) until what’s in there has cleared, help arrives, or they become unconscious.

• If they lose consciousness at any stage, open their airway and check their breathing.

• If they’re not breathing, start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation ‒ chest compressions and rescue breaths) to try to release whatever’s stuck in there - follow the instructions for treating someone who is unconscious and not breathing


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