accessibility & help

Baby and Child First Aid

First aid for a child who is

Watch the video, in which a child is treated for choking. The information below the video gives you the key steps to helping a child who is choking.  


A child who is choking may be clutching at their chest or neck and won’t be able to speak, breathe or cough.


Give up to five back blows. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades. If back blows do not dislodge the object, move on to step two.

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Back blows create a strong vibration and pressure in the airway, which is often enough to dislodge the blockage. Dislodging the object will allow them to breathe again.


Give up to five abdominal thrusts. Hold the child around the waist and pull inwards and upwards above their belly button.

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Abdominal thrusts squeeze the air out of the lungs and may dislodge the blockage.


Call 999, If the object does not dislodge.

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Continue with cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts, until the object dislodges, help arrives or the child becomes unresponsive.


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Send us your stories

We love to hear from people who have stepped forward to help in a first aid emergency. If you have a first aid story that you'd be happy to share, please email including your name, telephone number and some brief details about what happened. The British Red Cross will only use your information to contact you about your first aid story.

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