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I’m a first aid guru – here’s what every parent needs to know if your child is choking

IF your child is in distress or in harm’s way, you’ll try to do anything you can to help.

But if your little one is choking, it might be hard to know how to assist them.

It’s important to remember that if your child is choking – they might not always be making a lot of noise
Experts showed what your child’s airways might look like if they are obstructed

Your first instinct might be to try and reach into their mouth to fish out whatever is causing them an issue.

But one first aid expert warned this is something you should never do, and revealed the correct way to clear the obstruction.

Former paramedic and first aider at Tiny Hearts Education, Nikki Jurcutz posted a video which showed a tube.

The expert explained that this tube is the same size as your child’s airway.

She explained: “If your little one has a complete obstruction, no air can get in or out. Getting it out could push it down further.”

Nikki explained that in this instance, the only thing to do is to administer back blows and chest thrusts.

These, she said, are very effective when done correctly.

To help your child, she said you should remember ‘five to stay alive’ , which refers to five back blows, followed by five chest thrusts.

Here’s the advice you need to know for babies and children.

If the child is coughing, encourage them to continue as they may be able to bring the object up. Don’t leave them.

If the coughing isn’t effective (it is silent or they cannot breathe properly), shout for help immediately.

If the child is still conscious, use back blows. 


  1. Slap it out:
  • Lay the baby face down along your thigh and support their head  
  • Give five back blows between their shoulder blades  
  • Turn them over and check their mouth each time  

2. Squeeze it out:

  • Turn the baby over, face upwards, supported along your thigh 
  • Put two fingers in the centre of their chest just below the nipple line; push downwards to give up to five sharp chest thrusts 
  • Check the mouth each time  

3. If the item does not dislodge, call 999 or 112 for emergency help  

  • Take the baby with you to call  
  • Repeat the steps 1 and 2 until help arrives 
  • Start CPR if the baby becomes unresponsive (unconscious)  


1. Cough it out  

  • Encourage the casualty to keep coughing, if they can 

2. Slap it out  

  • Lean them forwards, supporting them with one hand 
  • Give five sharp back blows between the shoulder blades 
  • Check their mouth each time but do not put your fingers in their mouth  

3. Squeeze it out  

  • Stand behind them with your arms around their waist, with one clenched fist between their belly button and the bottom of their chest 
  • Grasp the fist in the other hand and pull sharply inwards and upwards, giving up to five abdominal thrusts 
  • Check their mouth each time  

4. Call 999 or 112 for emergency help if the object does not dislodge  

  • Repeat steps 2 and 3 until help arrives 
  • Start CPR if the person becomes unresponsive (unconscious) 

5. Always seek medical advice if abdominal thrusts are used 

All kids are at risk of choking – especially those under the age of three.

Nikki previously reminded parents that choking is silent, so it can sometimes be hard to know if that’s what’s really happenening.

She said: “You could be standing on the opposite side of the room with your back turned, and your bub could be choking.

“Unless they thrash about or somehow get your attention, you might not even notice.”

The guru previously listed the five rules she has in place in order to keep little ones safe when eating to avoid them choking.

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  1. Pingback: I’m a first aider – from choking to burns, what every parent needs to know this Halloween

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