Baby choking - first aid for parents

Your baby may be choking if they suddenly become distressed, have noisy breathing, if they are unable to cry or cough. In some cases they may not be able to make any noise or breathe.

Poster download: What to do if a baby is choking

Watch our video - how to treat a choking baby

Choking baby ‒ what you need to do

choking babyStep 1 of 4: Slap it out

  • • Lay your baby face down on you thigh and support their head. Give up to five back blows between their shoulder blades with the heel of your hand.
  • • Give up to five back blows between their shoulder blades with the heel of your hand.

Check their mouthStep 2 of 4: Check their mouth

  • • Lay your baby on your thigh face up.
  • • Carefully pick out any obvious objects with your fingertips.

Squeeze it outSqueeze it out

  • • Using two fingers, give up to five downward chest thrusts.
  • • Check the mouth. If the obstruction hasn't cleared, call 999/112 for emergency help.

Call for helpCall 999 or 112

  • • Take your baby with you and call 999 or 112.
  • • Repeat the above steps 1 to 3 until help arrives.
  • • If they become unresponsive at any stage, open their airway and check their breathing.
  • • If they’re not breathing, start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation ‒ chest compressions and rescue breaths). Follow the instructions for treating a baby who is unresponsive and not breathing.

Baby first aid course

Learn simple, life saving skills, taught in line with babies' developmental stages.

Baby first aid course