First Aid: Choking Baby
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Singapore Red Cross Academy’s Training Instructor, Ms Julie Bte Kabir demonstrates how caregivers can tend to choking infants.

STEP 1: ASSESSMENT

Step 1: Assessment

  • Infant is conscious and coughing

  • If the choking worsens, immediately remove the airway obstruction. You will notice at least one of the following:
    - Loss of voice
    - Increased breathing.
    - The infant’s face may turn blue.

STEP 2: "SANDWICH" TECHNIQUE TO POSITION THE INFANT

Step 2

  • Carry and position the infant with head on your palm and the body on your forearm

  • “Sandwich” the infant with your other hand by:
    - Supporting the infant’s jaw with your thumb on one side and the rest of your fingers on the other side.
    - Placing your forearm on the infant’s chest.                                                                  

STEP 3: PERFORM THE BACK BLOW TECHNIQUE

Step 4

Supporting the infant’s head and body as a unit:

  • Straddle the infant’s face down with the head lower than the body
  • Place the infant’s head downwards with the forearm, which is supporting the infant’s chest  onto your thigh to support the infant.
  • Deliver 5 back blows forcefully between the shoulder blades with the heel of your other hand.

STEP 4: LOCATE THE LANDMARK FOR CHEST THRUST TECHNIQUE

Step 5

  • Place your free hand on the infant’s back and head to resume the “sandwich” position.

  • Turn the infant over with head lower than the body.

  • Rest your forearm supporting the infant’s back onto your thigh (on the same side) to support the infant.

  • Draw an imaginary line between the nipples with the ring (fourth) finger.

  • At the breastbone (sternum), place your middle and index fingers (third and second) next to your ring (fourth) finger.

STEP 6: PERFORM THE CHEST THRUST TECHNIQUE

Step 6: Chest Thrust Technique

  • Lift up your ring finger and deliver 5 chest thrusts over the lower half of the sternum (breastbone) using the same location and technique as chest compressions in CPR.

  • Check the infant’s mouth, remove any visible foreign body.

Repeat Steps 2 - 6 until foreign body is dislodged. Stop if infant becomes unconscious.

Check out our child first aid course if you would like to learn more about child first aid.