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What to do if your baby is choking

A baby who is choking will be unable to cry, cough, make any noise or breathe.

1. Give up to five back blows: hold the baby face-down along your thigh with their head lower than their bottom. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades up to five times. If back blows do not dislodge the blockage, move on to step 2. Back blows create a strong vibration and pressure in the airway, which is often enough to dislodge the blockage, allowing them to breathe again. Support their head while you hold them in position.

2. Give up to five chest thrusts: turn the baby over so they are facing upwards. Place two fingers in the middle of their chest just below the nipples. Push sharply downwards up to five times.

Chest thrusts squeeze the air out of the baby’s lungs and may dislodge the blockage.

3. Call 144 (Switzerland) 112 (France, Europe) if the blockage does not dislodge.

Continue with cycles of back blows and chest thrusts until the blockage dislodges, help arrives or the baby becomes unresponsive. If you can’t call 144 or 112, get someone else to do it.

You can install an app called "Baby & Child Fist Aid" from the Red Cross onto your phone.


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