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What's the first thing you should do if your child is choking?

When children first start eating solid foods, they are at risk of choking. Swallowing anything that’s too big, or even coughing while eating can cause your toddler to choke, and in that case, you will need to know what to do.

The very first thing you should do if your child starts choking is perform the Heimlich manoeuvre on him or her, standing or kneeling behind your child, and using firm abdominal thrusts to force the lodged food back out of your child’s mouth.

Place one hand, clenched into a fist on your child’s abdomen, and then rest the other on top of it.

Bring both hands towards you (towards your child’s spine) in a firm, fast motion. Continue until the lodged object is removed, or your child starts to breath by him or herself.

Knowing how to perform basic, life saving first aid procedures like this can save your child’s life! Be wary of using your fingers to try and remove the object or food that is lodged in your child’s throat – it can force the item further down.

More questions

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