If there’s one thing that all parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, older siblings and babysitters should know, it’s how to save a baby from choking.
Babies are inherently curious, and when something catches their attention, it usually goes straight into their mouths. This means that choking is not exactly an uncommon occurrence, which is all the more reason to know exactly how to deal with it.
How To Tell If A Baby Is Choking
It might not be immediately obvious that the child in your care is choking, especially if it happens when your back is turned. That’s why it’s important to know the symptoms of choking in babies. Keep an eye out for any or all of the following:
- Difficulty in breathing
- A faint whistling or ‘crowing’ noise, or no noise at all
- Slight blue colour on the face, neck, ears, lips and fingernails
How To Treat It
Every second is crucial when a baby is choking, which is why you need to act fast and begin treatment straight away by doing the following.
1. Call For An Ambulance
As soon as you see your baby choking, call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance, or have someone else call for you. If it is you making the call, put your phone nearby on speaker so you can begin treatment straight away at the same time as requesting the ambulance.
2. Give Five Back Blows
To dislodge the item on which the baby is choking, place the baby on your forearm with its head facing downward. Make sure the baby’s head is supported by your hand. With your other hand, using the heel, give as many as 5 back blows to the baby. The blows should be directed between the baby’s shoulders.
3. Check The Airway
Following the back blows, turn the baby on its back again, open their mouth and remove any loose foreign items using your little finger. If there are no items loose, and the baby is still choking, continue treatment.
4. Give Five Chest Thrusts
If following back blows and a check of the airway the baby is still choking, it’s time to give some chest thrusts. Place the baby on a firm surface on their back, and place 2 fingers in a CPR compression position (on the chest). Give up to five chest thrusts, at a slower speed than CPR, but with sharper force.
5. Check The Airway
Following the five chest thrusts, check the airway again to see if the item the baby is choking on has been dislodged. If it is loose, you can remove it with your little finger.
6. Repeat Until Help Arrives
If the chest thrusts still do not loosen the foreign item from the baby’s airways, you’ll need to repeat the process again until an ambulance arrives. It’s important to stay as calm as you can. If you aren’t calm, you could be distracted from what you’re doing, and unintentionally cause the baby more harm.
7. If Baby Loses Consciousness, Give CPR
Throughout the first aid process of back blows and chest thrusts, you absolutely must monitor the state of the baby.
If the baby loses consciousness and is unresponsive, you need to move away from the choking treatment onto the baby CPR treatment while you wait for help to arrive. We have an article that you can read about performing CPR on babies here.
Meet The Chokeables
If you still aren’t sure on what to do when your baby is choking, we highly recommend this helpful video from St. John Ambulance, United Kingdom chapter. The video clearly shows how to administer first aid treatment for a choking baby, and is worth watching.
Learn how to save a choking baby with this simple tip with a little humour of course.
More and more mums have saved their children from choking by following this simple steps.
Please share with other humans and hu-MUMS!
Have you learned this simple tip in saving your babies from choking?
If you become concerned about any symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention we have some hotlines and suggested websites for further information and advice https://www.stayathomemum.com.au/my-kids/babies/important-hotlines-websites/