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Choking - infant under 1 year

  • First Aid

    DO NOT perform these steps if the infant is coughing forcefully or has a strong cry -- either of which can dislodge the object on its own.

    1. Lay the infant face down, along your forearm. Use your thigh or lap for support. Hold the infant's chest in your hand and jaw with your fingers. Point the infant's head downward, lower than the body.
    2. Give up to 5 quick, forceful blows between the infant's shoulder blades. Use the heel of your free hand.


    1. Turn the infant face up. Use your thigh or lap for support. Support the head.
    2. Place 2 fingers on the middle of his breastbone just below the nipples.
    3. Give up to 5 quick thrusts down, compressing the chest 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the chest.
    4. Continue this series of 5 back blows and 5 chest thrusts until the object is dislodged or the infant loses consciousness.


    If the child becomes unresponsive, stops breathing, or turns blue:

    • Shout for help.
    • Give infant CPR. Call 911 after one minute of CPR.
    • If you can SEE the object blocking the airway, try to remove it with your finger. Try to remove an object ONLY if you can see it.

    Do Not
    • DO NOT interfere if the infant is coughing forcefully, has a strong cry, or is breathing adequately. However, be ready to act if the symptoms worsen.
    • DO NOT try to grasp and pull out the object if the infant is conscious.
    • DO NOT perform back blows and chest thrusts if the infant stops breathing for other reasons, such as asthma, infection, swelling, or a blow to the head. DO give infant CPR.

    Call immediately for emergency medical assistance if

    If an infant is choking:

    • Tell someone to call 911 while you begin first aid.
    • If you are alone, shout for help and begin first aid.

    Even if you successfully dislodge the object and the infant seems fine, call a doctor for further instructions.