Relief for Choking: First Aid Technique Everyone Should Know

Choking Relief

Imagine someone starts choking in front of you. Do you know how to help them and possibly save their life? Choking can happen suddenly, so being ready with the right skills is important. This article will teach you essential first aid steps, like the Heimlich Maneuver, to stop choking. Learn how you could make a life-saving difference when it’s needed most.

Key Takeaways

  • Knowing first aid techniques for choking is vital in providing immediate relief and saving lives.
  • The Heimlich Maneuver is a renowned method for dislodging obstructions from the airway.
  • Understanding how to help adults, children, and babies who are choking is crucial, as techniques may vary.
  • Additional techniques such as CPR may be necessary in certain choking situations.
  • Preventive measures and awareness can reduce the risk of choking incidents.

How to Help an Adult Who is Choking

When an adult is choking, they can’t talk, breathe, or cough. Ask them to cough first. This might clear the blockage. If not, give back blows and abdominal thrusts. Call emergency services if they still choke.

Seeing someone choke can be terrifying and life-threatening. It’s key to act fast. Here’s how to help:

Step 1: Encourage the person to cough

If they can cough, encourage a strong cough. This can dislodge what’s stuck.

Step 2: Perform back blows

If the blockage stays, stand behind them. Use the heel of your hand to hit between their shoulders. This could help get rid of the blockage.

Step 3: Perform abdominal thrusts

If they still choke, do abdominal thrusts (the Heimlich). Stand behind them. Wrap your arms around their waist. Place a fist above their navel and cover it with the other hand. Give firm upward pushes.

Keep alternating between back blows and abdominal thrusts. Do this until they can breathe or help arrives. Don’t wait to provide aid. Lack of oxygen can have serious consequences.

“In a choking emergency, time is of the essence. By knowing the steps to provide relief for Adult Choking, you can be prepared to take action and save a life.”

If the person chokes again, loses consciousness, or gets worse, call for help immediately. Even if the blockage comes out, they need to be checked by a doctor. This is important to ensure no further harm from the choking.

Signs of Adult ChokingActions to Take
Unable to speak, breathe, or coughEncourage coughing, perform back blows, and abdominal thrusts
Obstruction remains despite coughing and back blowsContinue abdominal thrusts (Heimlich Maneuver) and call emergency services
Loss of consciousness or worsening conditionCall emergency services immediately

How to Help a Child Who is Choking

If a child is choking, quick action is vital. You must help them to clear their airway. The steps to help a choking child are like those for adults. But, you must adjust the method considering their age and size. Let’s go through what you should do.

  1. First, check if the child is really choking. Watch for signs like trouble breathing, coughing, or no sound when trying to talk.
  2. Stay calm and tell the child not to worry. Your calmness will help them relax, which is important.
  3. If the child is coughing hard, let them carry on. This might solve the problem without further help.
  4. But, if the blockage doesn’t clear, it’s time for you to act. Give back blows to dislodge the object. Lean the child forward, and using the heel of your hand, give a firm smack between their shoulder blades. Be sure to keep their head and neck supported.
  5. If back blows fail, try abdominal thrusts. This is the Heimlich Maneuver. Stand them up, wrap your arms around their stomach, and place your clenched fist slightly above their belly button. Support your fist with your other hand and pull sharply in and up. Do this up to five times if needed.
  6. Continue alternating back blows with abdominal thrusts until the blockage comes out or help arrives.

It’s crucial to adapt the force and technique for a child’s smaller body while giving first aid. Keep the child safe and their well-being your top priority.

If a child gets worse or stops responding, get medical help fast. Call emergency services and do CPR if needed.

Never take a child’s choking lightly. Seeking medical help is critical, especially if your first aid attempts fail.

Knowing how to respond when a child is choking means you’re ready to act with confidence and speed.

How to Help a Baby Who is Choking

If a baby is choking, quick action is key. Babies’ airways are small and more prone to blockages. Knowing the right steps can save a life.

Here are the steps to help a baby who is choking:

  1. Assess the situation: Keep calm and check if the baby can make any noise. If they can’t and are turning blue, it might be a full blockage.
  2. Place the baby: If the baby is conscious but still choking, place them face-down over your thigh. Make sure their head is lower than their chest.
  3. Deliver back blows: Use your hand’s heel to give sharp back blows between the baby’s shoulder blades. This can dislodge the blockage.
  4. Check the mouth: After back blows, look in the baby’s mouth for the object. If you see it, carefully take it out with your fingers. Avoid pushing it deeper into the throat by accident.
  5. Continue with back blows: If the blockage doesn’t clear, keep delivering back blows. Do this until the problem is solved or help arrives.
  6. Call for help: Always call emergency services while providing first aid. Time matters a lot in these situations.

Remember, avoid abdominal thrusts on babies under one year old. They could hurt the baby. Stick to back blows and get professional help if needed.

Knowing how to help a choking baby is vital. Stay calm, act fast, and keep the baby’s safety in mind always.

Additional Techniques for Choking Relief

Sometimes, the Heimlich Maneuver and back blows aren’t enough to stop choking. In these cases, knowing CPR can be the key. It greatly raises the chances of saving someone’s life.

If the first aids don’t work, quickly evaluate the situation. Start CPR if needed. CPR mixes chest compressions and breaths to help breathing and blood flow. Its procedure is slightly different for adults and children.

Remember, time is crucial in a choking emergency. Acting fast with the right treatment can save a life.

When giving CPR, follow these steps:

  1. Call for emergency help immediately.
  2. Place the person on a hard, flat surface.
  3. Put your hand’s heel on the centre of their chest. Interlock your other hand on top.
  4. Keep your arms straight as you use your body weight. Do compressions hard and fast, about 100-120 times a minute.
  5. After 30 compressions, slightly tilt the head back and lift the chin to open the airway. Pinch their nose, cover their mouth, and give two big breaths. Make sure the chest lifts each time.
  6. Repeat with 30 compressions and two breaths. Do this until help arrives or the person gets better.

Always remember, CPR should be done by those who know it well. A CPR course can teach you the right way. It can prepare you to handle choking emergencies and save lives.

To know more about choking treatment, learn how to clear airways further. This involves:

  • Finger sweeps: Clear the mouth and throat with your index and middle fingers if you see anything.
  • Forceful coughing: Ask the person to cough strong to try and move the blockage.
  • Conscious choking: Encourage and support them. Help them cough hard or give strong back blows.
  • Unconscious choking: Start CPR straight away if they faint from choking, as we already talked about.

Being informed about these extra steps and keeping cool in a choking incident can help save a life. It makes a big difference in how well those around you are protected.

Airway Obstruction Image
Finger sweepsUse your fingers to clear the mouth and throat of visible objects.
Forceful coughingEncourage the patient to cough strongly to help remove the blockage.
Conscious chokingGive them support and help them cough forcefully. Or use back blows to clear the blockage.
Unconscious chokingIf they stop responding, start CPR immediately as explained earlier.

What to Do If Back Blows Don’t Stop Choking

If back blows don’t work, act fast to help someone still choking. Here’s what to do:

  1. Stand behind the person choking, making sure they see you want to help.
  2. Wrap your arms around them and put your fist just above their belly button. Your thumb should be against their stomach.
  3. Hold your fist with your other hand. Push in and up sharply towards their diaphragm.
  4. Do this up to 5 times, checking if they can breathe between each try.
  5. If the blockage doesn’t clear and the person is still in trouble, keep trying and get emergency help.

If someone keeps choking, it’s a big emergency. You have to move quickly. Ask anyone close to call for an ambulance if you’re by yourself.


  • Be confident when doing abdominal thrusts. Make sure you push hard enough to remove the blockage.
  • Don’t use this on babies under a year old or pregnant people. Find the right way to help them.
  • Keep asking for help, even if the blockage is gone. They need to be seen by a doctor to be safe.

Doing abdominal thrusts right can help with persistent choking. Knowing first aid makes a real difference in an emergency. It’s essential to be prepared.

What to Do If the Person Becomes Unresponsive

If someone is choking but then goes unresponsive, quick action is key. Gently lay them down and start CPR. Keep doing chest compressions and rescue breaths. When help comes, they can take over.

Unconscious Choking
Steps to Follow for Unconscious Choking
1. Lower the person gently to the ground and ensure they are lying flat on their back.
2. Kneel beside the person and place the heel of your hand on the center of their chest.
3. Place your other hand on top of the first hand and interlock your fingers.
4. Position your body directly above the person’s chest and perform chest compressions.
5. Push hard and fast, aiming for a rate of about 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
6. After 30 compressions, give two rescue breaths by tilting the person’s head back gently, pinching their nose, and covering their mouth with yours.
7. Watch for the person’s chest to rise with each breath and continue the cycle of compressions and rescue breaths.
8. Continue performing CPR until professional help arrives or until the person shows signs of life.

If you don’t feel confident about CPR, it’s crucial to ring for an ambulance. They’ll instruct you until help arrives.

Choking Prevention and Choking Relief Awareness

Knowing how to help someone choking is vital. But, it’s just as crucial to prevent it happening. By taking simple steps and watching out for dangers, you can cut down the choking risk. This makes things safer for everyone.

Choking Prevention Tips

  • Don’t give children small, hard foods like nuts, popcorn, or whole grapes. Instead, cut them into small pieces.
  • Watch children closely at meal times to make sure they eat properly.
  • Keep buttons, coins, or tiny toys away from babies and toddlers. Little kids often put things in their mouths.
  • Make sure that bibs and clothes with small parts are securely fixed. This stops them from coming off and causing harm.
  • Check toys and safety devices like baby gates for any damage. They should be in good shape to prevent choking.

Choking Safety Precautions

Being ready for a choking emergency is really important. Here are steps to take for a quick and effective response:

  • Learn first aid and CPR. These skills are essential for helping in a choking situation.
  • Keep handy the numbers for emergency services and poison control. This is crucial for quick assistance.
  • Make sure your home is safe by checking for any small, potentially harmful items. Also, look out for electrical hazards.
  • Put childproof locks on cupboards with dangerous products. This keeps kids away from harm.
  • Understand the signs of choking and how to respond, including the Heimlich Maneuver. This knowledge is key to saving lives.

Always be prepared. By following these tips and precautions, you can make your home safer from choking incidents.

When to Seek Medical Help for Choking

If someone is choking, it’s vital to know when to get help. Call emergency services if the person can’t breathe or if they pass out. Quick action is key. Medical help is needed fast in these cases. It offers the right skills and tools to help.

Getting the person checked by a doctor is also crucial, even if they seem better. This step is important to check for any throat damage. Docs can make sure they are okay and give any needed treatments.

If choking happens, don’t wait. Call for help right away. Acting fast can save a life. It ensures the person gets the care they need. Your quick actions are important and can help a lot.

Looking For First Aid Training In The North East?

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Adam is the lead trainer at First Aid and Safety Training, with a background in the Military and the Police he has a wealth of first hand experience and knowledge about First Aid. If you have any questions about First Aid or our training courses, all you need to do is send us a message online or give us a call on 0191 7166601.

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