The first step in choking first aid is recognising that a child has an airway blockage. This guide explains the signs and takes you through what to do when a child is choking.
Partial airway blockage: choking signs
The following signs can tell you that a child’s airway is partially blocked:
loss of voice
coughing that keeps getting worse
anxiety and agitation
stridor (a shrill rattling sound)
sudden chest pain
Complete airway blockage: choking signs
The following signs can tell you that a child’s airway is completely blocked:
The child can’t breathe
The child can’t make any sounds
No air is getting out of the child’s nose and/or mouth
The child’s skin goes pale or blue in colour
The child starts to lose consciousness quickly
Choking first aid for airway blockage
If a child is choking and you think she has a blocked airway, phone 995 immediately.
For a baby under one year do the following:
Lay the baby facing downwards on your forearm or over your thigh – remember to always support baby’s head and neck.
If the baby is old enough to understand, encourage him to cough.
For a child aged over one year do the following:
Encourage the child to lean forward.
Encourage the child to cough while you’re waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
© raisingchildren.net.au, translated and adapted with permission