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Choking first aid - infant under 1 year - series—Part 1

Heimlich maneuver on infant

Overview

The danger signs of true choking are:

  • Inability to cry or make much sound
  • Weak, ineffective coughing
  • Soft or high-pitched sounds while inhaling
  • Difficulty breathing - ribs and chest retract
  • Bluish skin color
  • Loss of consciousness if blockage is not cleared

FIRST AID

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Give up to 5 quick, forceful blows between the infant's shoulder blades. Use the heel of your free hand.

Review Date 1/12/2019

Updated by: Jesse Borke, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Attending Physician at FDR Medical Services/Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Buffalo, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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