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Infant Choking

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2 min 13 sec
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How to Respond When an Infant is Choking

Choking is a critical emergency, especially in infants, requiring swift and effective intervention to prevent severe outcomes.

Understanding Choking in Infants

Infants are more prone to choking on food or small objects. Quick action is essential in these situations to ensure their safety.

Mild vs. Severe Choking

  • Mild Obstruction: Some air passage remains, and the infant can cough.
  • Severe Obstruction: Airway is completely blocked, preventing breathing, crying, or coughing.

Immediate Actions for Severe Choking

Follow these steps carefully to assist a choking infant:

Step 1: Back Blows

  1. Lay the infant face down along your thigh while sitting.
  2. Support their head with one hand.
  3. With the heel of your other hand, give up to five firm back-blows between the shoulder blades.
  4. Check between blows for any dislodged obstruction.

Step 2: Checking the Mouth

Turn the infant over and lay them on your leg face-up to inspect their mouth:

  • Remove visible obstructions carefully.
  • Avoid blind finger sweeps.

Step 3: Chest Thrusts

  1. While the infant is still lying face-up on your leg, locate the breastbone.
  2. Perform up to five chest thrusts using two fingers, pressing inwards and downwards.
  3. Repeat back blows and chest thrusts if the obstruction remains.

If the Infant Becomes Unconscious

  • Immediately check for breathing and prepare to start CPR if there is no breath.
  • Call Emergency Services or have someone call them if not done already.


Being prepared to act in a choking emergency can save an infant's life. Practice and familiarity with these procedures can make a critical difference.