Choking Infant


The American College of Emergency Physicians offers the following guidelines to treat choking infants:

  • See if the child can breathe, cry or speak. 
  • A strong cough generally means little or no blockage, and the child may be able to dislodge the blockage by coughing. 
  • Begin first aid only if the child cannot breathe at all, or the child's airway is so blocked that there's only a weak cough and a loss of color.

Conscious Infant
(Under 1 year old)

  • Support the head and neck with one hand. Place the infant face down over your forearm, head lower than torso, supported on your thigh.
  • Deliver up to five back blows, forcefully, between the infant’s shoulder blades using the heel of your hand.
  • While supporting the head, turn the infant face up, head lower than torso.
  • Using two or three fingers, deliver up to five thrusts in the sternal (breastbone) region. Depress the sternum 1/2 to 1 inch for each thrust. Avoid the tip of the sternum.
  • Repeat both back blows and chest thrusts until the object is expelled or the infant becomes unconscious. If the infant becomes unconscious, begin performing CPR and seek help immediately.