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

Slap it out

choking baby

  • 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.

Check their mouth

Choking baby

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

Squeeze it out

Unblock airway

  • 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 999/112

Call for help

  • 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.

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