Watch our video - how to help a child who is choking
What to look for - Choking child
If you think a child is choking, ask them: ‘Are you
choking?’ to check they’re actually choking, not suffering from
something else. Can they speak, cry, cough or breathe? If
not, they could be choking.
Choking child - what you need to do
1. Cough it out
- Encourage them to cough it out. If that
doesn't work, try to slap it out.
2. Slap it out
If coughing doesn't work:
• Help the child bend forward and use the heel of your hand to
give up to five sharp back blows between their shoulder blades.
• Check their mouth to see if there’s anything in there. If
there is, get them to pick it out themselves.
3. Squeeze it out
If the back blows don't work, try giving them up
to five abdominal thrusts:
• To do this, stand behind the child, making sure they are
bending well forward.
• Link your hands between their tummy button and the bottom
of their chest, with your lower hand clenched in a fist.
• Then pull sharply inwards and upwards.
If they're still choking call 999 or 112 for an
• Once you’ve called an ambulance, continue steps 2 ‘ Slap it
out’ and 3 ‘Squeeze it out’ until what’s in there has cleared, help
arrives or they become unresponsive.
• If they become unresponsive at any stage, open their
airway and check their breathing. If they’re not breathing, start
CPR - cardiopulmonary resuscitation to
try to release whatever’s stuck in there. Follow the instructions
for someone who's unresponsive and not