The child who chokes

The child who chokes

Ask for emergency medical help (9-1-1) if your child:

  • Has an expression of distress;
  • At the open mouth;
  • Is unable to breathe or cough;
  • Emits a high-pitched sound
  • Holds his throat in his hands;
  • Loses consciousness.

If in doubt, do not hesitate to contact Info-Santé (8-1-1).

First aid

Baby under 1 year old

If your baby is choking:

1. Hold your baby between your forearms while supporting his head.

2. Flip it face down, holding it firmly (rest your forearms on your thighs). His head must be lower than his trunk.

3. With your palm, give him five tapes between the shoulder blades (each of the two flat bones located at the top of the back).

4. If the object has not been dislodged, while holding your head, turn your baby on his back.

5. Place two fingers in the center of his chest, under the imaginary line between the two nipples, and exert five firm and fast pressures.

6. Continue pushing until the object is dislodged, your baby is crying or losing consciousness.

7. If your baby loses consciousness, seek emergency medical help (9-1-1).

8. Practice cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) .

Child over 1 year old

If your child is choking:

1. Kneel behind your child and place an arm across his chest to support him.

2. Lean your child forward enough so that the dislodged object can come out through his mouth instead of back into his airway.

3. With the heel of your other hand, give five firm steps between his shoulder blades.

4. If the object has not been dislodged, form a fist with one hand and place it just above its belly button:

  • Place your other hand over your fist;
  • Perform five quick pushes inward and up the belly.

5. Continue the cycle of five firm steps in the back and five abdominal thrusts until the object is dislodged or until your child loses consciousness.

6. If your child loses consciousness, seek emergency medical assistance (9-1-1) and request an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) if you are in a public place.

7. Practice cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

How to prevent?

  • Supervise your child during meals.
  • Gradually introduce solid foods into the diet.
  • Teach your child to eat calmly, do not talk with your mouth full and chew your food.
  • Do not let him play with very small objects.

Because they are about the same size as a young child ‘s esophagus, some foods can remain in the throat and block the trachea. Up to age 4, to prevent choking, avoid giving small, hard, round foods such as peanuts, nuts, candy, cough lozenges, popcorn, gum chews, raisins, whole grapes, hot dog sausages, toothpicks, raw carrots, and celery. Some objects, such as marbles, buttons, coins, button batteries, are also dangerous.

Read more about educational toys for your children.

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