Infant Choking | Causes and Symptoms | Prevention | Infant CPR

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Infant CPR: First Aid for Choking Child

Infant Choking is surely scary for parents but knowing the cause, symptoms and infant CPR training you can largely prevent it.


What is Infant Choking

Choking is referred to as a state where an infant is not able to breathe properly due to a foreign object like a food item, toy or any other object, blocking the airways or windpipe.


What are the Common Cause of Infant and Toddler Choking

Infants have very limited things that can cause choking. From birth to 4 months of age, the infant choking is mainly caused by breastmilk. Some infant can get choked on saliva too so all you need to do in order to prevent infant choking on food is to keep the head high after each feeding session.

When the baby starts to crawl, then the cause of choking changes significantly. Toddlers use their mouth to explore everything around them which is the main cause of toddler choking. Choking on food, swallowing tiny toys, buttons, coins are all the cause of choking in toddlers.


What are the Symptoms of Baby Choking

The danger signs of baby choking are:

  • Change in the skin color to blue or red
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Unresponsive or loss of consciousness
  • Inability to speak or babble
  • Soft or high pitch sound while breathing


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What Should You Do If Baby is Choking

It is very important for all parents to understand the importance of infant CPR classes. When such a worse situation arises, the training on baby choking prove to be very helpful.

If you notice any of the above danger signs of baby choking, it is important to call an ambulance. Till the time ambulance comes, you can deliver back blows and chest thrusts as per the directions below for help.

  • First Aid for Choking Child – Back Blows


  1. Hold the baby face down and rest the body on your forearms with head supported by your thumb and index finger.
  2. Make sure that the baby’s chest is higher than the lower part of the body.
  3. Now using your other hand, give 5 back blows or slaps between shoulder blades.

Repeat it 5 times and keep checking the baby mouth for any object. If you notice the object, using your thumb and index finger remove the object from baby’s mouth.

  • First Aid for Choking Child – Chest Thrusts



  1. Hold the baby face up and rest the body on your forearms with skull supported by your hand.
  2. Make sure that the baby’s head is lower than the chest.
  3. Now place two or three fingers in the middle of the chest, just below the straight line from nipples and compress breastbone about 1 inches.

Repeat it for 5 times and keep checking the baby mouth for any object. If you notice the object, using your thumb and index finger remove the object from baby’s mouth.

You can repeat back blows and chest thrusts 5 to 7 times until the baby starts to cry or cough.

When performing back blows and chest thrusts if you notice that the baby is becoming unconscious, make him or her lay on flat surface and start infant CPR.


How to Do Infant CPR

If the baby becomes unconscious and starts to turn blue while you try to get rid of the foreign object, it’s the time to start giving infant CPR.

Following are the steps to perform in an Infant CPR:

  1. Lay the baby on a firm flat surface and give 2 rescue breaths. You should make sure to seal baby’s nose and start to blow oxygen, mouth to mouth. If baby does not revive even after 2 rescue breaths, start with chest compression.
  2. Do up to 30 chest compressions by applying light pressure on baby’s chest with palm and fingers.

After 30 chest compressions, check the baby mouth for the object. If you see it, remove it with thumb and index finger carefully. If the baby is still unconscious, repeat next set of 30 chest thrusts. Once you see baby breathing again, stop the procedure.


Parenting Guide to Choking Prevention in Toddlers

You should keep the following things in mind to prevent choking in toddlers:

  • Keep away small objects – toys, coins, marbles, balls, from reach of toddlers
  • Keep a watch on your toddler as he/she has her meals
  • Mash baby food properly so that baby can swallow it safely
  • Do not allow children to crawl while eating
  • Avoid risky food items like dry fruits, nuts or popcorns or seeds that can get stuck in baby’s windpipe

Everyone that takes care of baby be it grandparents, should be encouraged to take an infant CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation classes to handle any emergency. Share this article to make sure that everyone is trained on first aid for choking baby.


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