How To Save The Life Of A Choking Baby

A child receiving CPR

This was submitted by Joe Curmi

By nature, all babies put anything that they can find into their mouths. From pieces of tissue, to blanket fluff and toys, thus making it easier for them to choke.

The chances of you ending up with a choking baby increase when weaning, because babies are not accustomed to chunky pieces of food.

As a parent, you have to be prepared for this reality because it can happen at any given time.

When babies have something stuck deep in their mouths or near the throat area, they don’t usually cry or scream. In fact, it’s impossible for them to do so and they will make a grunting
high pitched sound instead.

This is the first indicator that the baby is having trouble swallowing something. The baby might also appear to be red in the face or show signs of having difficulty breathing.

Now, when the choking call arises, you must be ready to act!

Here’s what you can do to help your baby:

Avoid Panic And Assess The Situation

If the baby is crying or yelling, the chances are the food or object has not gotten stuck deep in his or her throat and he or she could get it out quite easily with a few back thrusts or even by putting your hand in to pull the object out. However, if the baby is turning all shades of bluish-purple or red and is unable to make his or her usual noises, then the situation is more severe. This requires you to step in and help immediately.

Start With A Back Blow

The first thing you need to do is rest the baby on your thighs so you can effectively grasp their jaw and chest. The baby’s head must be in a lower position than the rest of his or her body. Forceful blows to the back must be administered just beneath the curve of the shoulders. Always firmly ensure you are holding the jawline tightly so as to support the baby’s head as you administer the blows. This will hopefully do the trick and dislodge the stuck object.

The Chest Next

If the object does not dislodge from the throat with back blows, attend to the chest. Use the same hand that was administering the back blows to turn the baby onto his or her back on your thighs. This way you are supporting the baby while still keeping the head lower in comparison to the rest of the body. Gently administer chest thrust to the baby while aligning your finger with the breast bone.

Continue with 5 back blows and 5 chest thrusts per time until they release the food.


If the baby has stopped responding or if back blows or chest thrusts fail to work and the baby is barely breathing, try CPR. It is recommended that you attend a CPR course or at least get a first aid certification prior to becoming a parent so that you know how to deal with these types of situations.
While awaiting external help from an ambulance, place the baby on a flat surface. Tilt the baby’s head and raise the chin. Cover the baby’s nose and place your mouth on
the baby’s mouth to ensure a seal. Administer one rescue breath after another. Ensure the baby’s chest is rising as you
administer the rescue breath.

Chest Compression

If the baby’s chest does not rise when you administer the breath of life, perhaps administer chest compressions. Your hand needs to be securely placed below the baby’s breastbone.

Give 30 chest compressions pressing about over an inch deep. The compressions must be administered regularly without stopping so as to meet a limit of 100 compressions within a minute.

For certain parents, giving rescue breaths may seem beyond them and quite tiresome. In this case, rather stick to administering chest compressions.

This is far better than doing nothing until professional help arrives. Always look into the mouth to see if the object causing the choking is visible so you can simply pull it

If you notice that your baby’s skin has turned blue because of choking, take them to a doctor even after you’ve taken the object out. There is always more peace in hearing your baby is
doing perfectly fine after the incident from a trusted professional.

Submitted by: Joe Curmi

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