Choking is a common cause of death in children and babies. Children aged under five years old are most at risk. It is vital to know the first aid steps to help a choking child or baby


1. Give up to five back blows

Hit the child using the palm of your hand in the centre of their back. Your aim is to create vibrations to dislodge the object from the airway

2. Give up to five abdominal thrusts

Stand / kneel behind the child. Place a fist just above their belly button. With your other hand, grasp the fist and pull sharply inwards and upwards

3. Repeat the cycle of five back blows and five abdominal thrusts until help arrives



A baby who is choking will be distressed and may be unable to cry, cough or breathe.

1. Give up to five back blows

Lay the baby face down across your thigh or forearm (ensure the head is supported). Give up to five firm blows using the palm of your hand in between the baby's shoulder blades.

2. Give up to five chest thrusts

Turn the baby over so that they are on their back. Using two fingers, deliver five firm chest thrusts inwards and upwards towards the head.

3. Repeat the cycles of back blows and chest thrusts until further help arrives

John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid & CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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