Choking infant

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A choking infant is considered as a medical emergency. Immediate action must be carried out to help the child.

Measures in helping a choking infant

  • The initial step is to stay safe. Observe the universal precautions and use protective equipment if available.
  • Assess the infant. If the child could not cry or cough, he/she is probably choking. Ask someone to call for emergency assistance. If no one is available to call for help, perform back blows for up to 2 minutes before calling for help. If the child is suspected of an allergic reaction instead of choking, call for emergency assistance right away.
  • In case the infant can cry or cough, he/she is able to breathe. Call for emergency assistance and monitor the child closely. If the child abruptly stops crying or coughing and does not breath, perform back blows.

How to perform back blows

Choking infant
Assess the infant. If the child could not cry or cough, he/she is probably choking.
  • Position the child facing down on your arm. Hold the head with your hand to keep his/her neck straight. The legs of the child must be straddling the arm near the elbow.
  • Lean the child down at an angle. The head must be lower than his/her waist.
  • Using the heel of your other hand, strike the child between the shoulder blades 5 times.

How to perform chest thrusts

  • The child must be rolled from one arm to the other so that he/she is lying facing upwards. Make sure that the head is cradled in your hand with the legs straddling the arm.
  • Hold the child at an angle with his/her head low and deliver 5 chest thrusts. Use 2 fingers on the breastbone right under the nipples. Drive down approximately an inch for 5 times.

Checking the mouth of the child

  • If there is an object in the mouth, draw it out. Otherwise, keep the fingers out of the mouth and perform the back blows and chest thrusts again. Continue to do so until the infant coughs up the object.
  • In case the child loses consciousness, perform CPR.
  • After 2 minutes of attempting to dislodge the object, call emergency assistance and continue trying.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a choking infant is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn how this is managed, register for a first aid and CPR course with Victoria First Aid.

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