Choking can happen when a food bolus or some sort of solid object blocks the airway. The air cannot come in and out of lungs. The victim will not be able to speak if there’s a complete obstruction.
Young children often swallow small objects that might lead to choking.
If the choking is partial (some air movement is possible), the victim may speak with a muffled voice.
In either case, the rescuer must act fast.
If the victim is able to cough, encourage them to cough violently.
If that is not helping, perform a Heimlich maneuver.
Table of Contents
— Kneel down behind the child. Place one arm across the person’s chest for support.
– Make a fist with one hand. Place it slightly above the victim’s navel region.
– Grab the fist with the other hand. Press hard into the abdomen quickly, upwards and backwards — as if you are trying to lift the person up.
– Perform between six and 10 abdominal thrusts until the blockage is dislodged or the victim loses consciousness.
Choking in an unconscious victim
When the child loses consciousness, abandon methods to relieve choking and place the child on a firm flat surface to start CPR immediately.
Begin CPR with one slight modification.
Before every breath (during 30:2 CPR with single rescuer and 15:2 with two rescuers), open the airway and look for any visible object that can be retrieved safely.
If an object is not visible, continue CPR, NEVER perform a blind finger sweep as it might push the object further deep.