Choking: What to do

Choking: What to do

If your baby is choking, they may not be able to make any noise. For babies up to 1 year: If the baby is unconscious, do CPR. If the baby is conscious, find out what steps to follow.

If your baby is choking, they may not be able to make any noise.

The following steps are for babies up to 1 year.

If the baby is unconscious, do CPR.

If the baby is conscious, follow these steps:

  1. Diagram showing holding baby down lengthwise on knee, supporting the head by holding the jaw, giving a back slap.

    Call for help.
  2. Hold the baby down lengthwise on your arm or knee.
  3. Firmly support the head by holding the jaw.
  4. Give 5 back slaps between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand – not too hard – to create an artificial cough.
  5. If the obstruction still hasn’t come out, turn the baby over face up with head lower than the trunk (or body).
  6. Give 5 chest compressions in the same place as for CPR, but at a slower rate (1 every 3 seconds).
  7. Only remove the object if you can see it. Do not try to fish for it as you may push the object down further.
  8. Continue back slaps and chest thrusts until the object comes out. If the baby becomes unconscious, follow the basic life support steps and perform CPR.

Source: Well Child Tamariki 'My health book'

This page last reviewed 26 September 2014.
Email us your feedback


On this page