Food or small objects can cause choking if they get caught in your throat and block your airway. This keeps oxygen from getting to your lungs and brain. If your brain goes without oxygen for more than four minutes, you could have brain damage or die.
Young children are at an especially high risk of choking. They can choke on foods like hot dogs, nuts and grapes, and on small objects like toy pieces and coins. Keep hazards out of their reach and supervise them when they eat.
When someone is choking, quick action can be lifesaving. Learn how to do back blows, the Heimlich maneuver (abdominal thrusts), and CPR.
Treatments and Therapies
- Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Ready Reference (American Red Cross) - PDF
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): First Aid (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- CPR for a Baby or Child (American Red Cross)
- CPR for Infants and Children (American College of Emergency Physicians)
- Emergency airway puncture - series (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- First Aid: Choking (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Ready Reference (American Red Cross) - PDF
- Responding to a Choking Emergency (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish
- Choking first aid - adult or child over 1 year - series (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Choking first aid - infant under 1 year - series -- Part 1 (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish