Dec 2014

What to do if your baby was choking - guest post by Emma Hammett of First Aid for Life

This article has been written by Emma Hammett who set up and runs First Aid for life. Having been to her classes, I thought you’d appreciate some tips on the very scary subject of what to do if your baby started choking.

Choking is scarily common and it is extremely frightening to see your little one struggling to breathe and feel powerless to help.

Babies put everything in their mouths and anything fits through a loo roll can be a potential choking hazard for them. Weaning can be a stressful experience as babies have a very sensitive gag reflex and often appear to struggle when trying new food textures. If they appear to be choking; repositioning them head downwards can help. If repositioning them does not work, give firm back blows as shown below. If they are able to cough, let them clear the obstruction themselves – if they are quiet and struggling to breathe, help immediately.

When starting solids; avoid slicing food into perfect circles as these can block the airway completely if they get stuck.

Choking – how to help

1. Stay as calm as you can.

2. If they are able to cough, reposition them to see if they can clear it themselves.

3. Have a quick look in the baby’s mouth and carefully remove anything obvious. NEVER blindly sweep inside the baby’s mouth with your fingers as it can cause damage and push the obstruction further down.

4. Lay the baby downwards across your forearm, supporting under their chin.


5. With your hand hit the baby up to 5 times firmly between their shoulder blades

Pasted Graphic 9

6. Check after each back blow to see if the obstruction has cleared

7. If still choking; lay the baby on its back across your knees, head downwards. Place two fingers in the centre of their chest at the nipple line, and give up to five, firm upward chest thrusts

8. If the baby is still choking, call 999/112 and continue giving baby five back blows, alternated with five chest thrusts, until help arrives

9. If the baby becomes unconscious start CPR immediately.

It is strongly advised that you attend a Practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.
Please visit or tel 0208 675 4036 for more information about their courses.

First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

First Aid for Life is an award winning First Aid training business that is HSE and Ofqual Approved through Qualsafe Awards. Our trainers are medical and emergency services professionals and our training is tailored to your needs