We produced this short video in association with St John Ambulance to clarify the information provided in our articles about choking in children. The video is free to watch – simply click the play button above.
Take a look at our articles First Aid: Choking and What to do: Choking Facts and Prevention
for more information on this topic.
My name is Moya Travis and I am a first aid trainer with St John Ambulance. Today I am working with SafeKids and I am going to demonstrate to you how you would deal with a child that is choking. A child is from one to puberty.
On discovering that the child is having difficulty with something in his mouth, the first thing I am going to do with him is encourage him to cough.
After he has had a cough, I will check his mouth to see if anything has appeared and I would pick it out. If that doesn’t work, what I am going to do is stand to the side of the child, take a firm grip of him and then what I am going to do is give him five back blows. Using my hand like that I’m going to do the back blows between the shoulder blades and as I go in, I’m coming up at the same time, so you just bounce off.
Then I would check his mouth to see if anything has come into his mouth. If it did I would take it out.
If that hasn’t worked, then what I will do is stand behind the child and I will place my hand on the breastbone and I am going to give him five chest thrusts.
I will check his mouth again and if that hasn’t worked I will repeat the cycle of encouraging him to cough, five back slaps and five chest thrusts, and I will repeat that until the object has moved.
If after the first cycle the object hasn’t been moved, I would ensure that someone went to the phone to dial 999 because we need an ambulance now. If not, I would take the child with me.
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