Choking First Aid

Having a choking child is a frightening experience for parents. Here's some advice from the experts on how to prevent a choking episode from turning into a tragedy.

Even when the Rice family is having fun, Kiobi has safety on her mind.

Kiobi Rice, Mom: I think that every mother's biggest fear is when your kid isn't able to breath or is gagging. Your heart instantly drops because the most important thing is the safety of your child.

Health experts say saving an adult who is choking is very different than saving a choking infant.

Tyr Wilbanks, M.D., Surgeon: Infants are smaller and their internal organs are less well protected by their rib cage. If you do the sharp thrusts on the abdomen that's recommended for adults, you could wind up rupturing the liver or spleen.

If your baby is choking do not slap him on the back. This can force the obstruction further down. Instead give him a few moments to cough it up.

If he can no longer cough or breath, instruct someone in the room to call 911. Then lay the infant down on your arm with his head lower than his chest. Make sure his neck is stabilized.

Give four rapid blows between his shoulder blade with the heel of your hand.
"Yep, just like that."
Turn him over and using your index and middle fingers. Give four chest thrusts about one inch deep over the breastbone.
Check inside the mouth to see if the object is visible. Repeat the steps until you can safely sweep the object out of his mouth.
Any item that can pass through a two-inch wide tube is a choking hazard, so it's important to child proof your home.