2. Choking

Life lost

Choking life lost

Abigail thought that grown-ups would always be there to help. But there were no adults who knew how to stop her choking to death.

Read Abigail West's story

Life saved

Ellie Fulton

Four-year-old Ellie Fulton’s life was saved when her father applied simple first aid to stop her choking.

Read Ellie Fulton's story

How to be the difference for someone choking


  • Choking step 1Encourage them to cough. If this doesn’t clear the obstruction, support their upper body with one hand and help them lean forward


  • Choking - back slapsGive up to five sharp back blows between their shoulder blades with the heel of your hand


  • Choking - abdominal thrustIf the obstruction has not cleared, stand behind them and put both arms around the upper part of the abdomen
  • Clench your fist and place it between the navel and the bottom of their breastbone
  • Grasp your fist firmly with your other hand
  • Pull sharply inwards and upwards up to five times
  • If this doesn’t clear the obstruction repeat backslaps and abdominal thrusts up to three times
  • Call 999If it still hasn’t cleared, call 999/112 for emergency help. Continue until help arrives.