How to react if a baby is choking?

We will never be reminded of it enough, but many gestures can save lives. The key is to know them and keep them in a corner of your head. Example with these reflexes, too little known, to have when a baby is choking.

The main actions to save an adult and a child over the age of suffocation are identical, as the French Red Cross reminds us. There are two options: backstrokes and/or abdominal compressions. But for infants, these gestures, and more specifically the positions to perform them, are slightly different.

What to do if a baby is choking?

The first thing to do if a baby is choking is to check if he can breathe or cough. If this is the case, do not intervene immediately as it means that the child is trying to free himself. On the contrary, if he cannot speak, cough or breathe, immediately perform the following maneuvers:

The first gesture: on the belly

Kneel on the floor or in a chair, then place the child on your thigh, his stomach towards the floor and his head in a vacuum and tilted slightly lower than his body. Your forearm should support his stomach and your hand his jaw (as in the photo below). Then tap the palm of your second hand firmly between the shoulder blades and repeat the action 5 times.

Photo: Shutterstock

In general, this maneuver is sufficient to expel the foreign body. But if this is not the case and the baby’s airways are still blocked, then immediately take the following action.

The second gesture: on the back

Stay seated and turn the child so that it is facing you. His head, supported by your hand, should be lower than his body. When properly positioned, place one or two fingers in the center of his chest and give 5 firm and quick compressions in the form of a “comma”, ie from the floor to the head.

Photo: Shutterstock

If the foreign body is still not expelled, alternate the two movements (five compressions at the level of the shoulder blades and five others slightly below the thorax). And if these maneuvers are not enough, immediately call the emergency services (15 or 18) and continue the compressions until they arrive.

To move forward, here are 6 essential actions you need to know to save lives

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