First aid expert warns of potentially deadly mistake when a child is choking

By Staff 6 Min Read

No matter how careful you are, some small objects, such as marbles, beads and button batteries, are just the right size to get stuck in a child’s airway and cause choking

An expert has revealed the one thing you should never do if your child is choking – and it could save lives.

Would you know what to do if your little one was struggling to breathe? A new video has detailed the correct procedure, and more importantly, exactly what to avoid.

You should never put your fingers in a child’s mouth if they are choking. Doing so could push the lodged object further down their throat, actually worsening the situation.

A video shared on TikTok – under @familyfirstaid – details a step-by-step guide. And the first thing you should do is turn the youngster over onto their front, with their head facing down low. Then proceed to administer back blows, using the heel of your hand and aiming downwards.

Pause after each blow and turn the child over to see if the object has been dislodged. If not, go again. After a maximum of five back blows, perform chest thrusts by placing two fingers in the middle of the child’s chest and push down hard.

Perform a maximum of five chest thrusts and then alternate between five on the back and five on the front. If the child become unconscious, you must begin resuscitation. Coughing is a good sign; it means that the child is trying to dislodge the object and is still breathing.

The NHS notes that children, particularly those aged from 1 to 5, often put objects in their mouth. This is a normal part of how they explore the world. Some small objects, such as marbles, beads and button batteries, are just the right size to get stuck in a child’s airway and cause choking.

Call 999 if the blockage doesn’t come out after trying back blows and either chest or abdominal thrusts. Keep trying this cycle until help arrives. Even if the object has come out, get medical help. Part of the object might have been left behind, or your child might have been hurt by the procedure.

The NHS further advises that if a choking child is, or becomes, unconscious, put them on a firm, flat surface and shout for help. Call 999, putting the phone on speakerphone so your hands are free, and don’t leave the child at any stage.

Open the child’s mouth. If the object’s clearly visible and you can grasp it easily, remove it. Then start CPR – see how to resuscitate a child.

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