FIRST AID: How to save a choking baby

First aid charity St John Ambulance gives advice on what to do to help a choking baby
First aid charity St John Ambulance gives advice on what to do to help a choking baby

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St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity, has teamed up with The News to bring you some simple, but life saving, first aid tips.

As you start weaning your baby and they begin eating solid foods or playing with small objects, they may be at risk of choking. If your baby is under one year old this advice will help you to know what to do if they choke.

What to look for:

n They may be unable to breathe, cry or cough

n They may have a red puffy face

n They may show signs of distress

What to do:

1. Slap it out. If your baby cannot breathe, cry or cough, they may be choking and you will need to give five back blows. Lay the baby face down along your forearm and thigh, making sure you support their head and neck. Give five sharp back blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand.

2. Turn them over on your thigh and check their mouth. Pick out any obvious obstructions you can see with your fingertips. Do not sweep the mouth as this could push the object further down the throat.

3. Squeeze it out. If back blows fail to clear obstruction give five chest thrusts, with your baby facing upwards, making sure you’re supporting their head and neck. Put two fingers in the centre of their chest just below the nipple line and give five sharp chest thrusts. Check their mouth again, each time.

4. Call 999 or 112 for emergency help if the obstruction hasn’t cleared. Take the baby with you to make the call. Keep repeating five back blows and five chest thrusts until help arrives. rechecking their mouth each time. If the baby becomes unresponsive at any point prepare to start baby CPR.

For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, the St John Ambulance app is available free on smartphones and sja.org.uk offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice. Also call 0844 770 4800 to book course.