First Aid for a Choking Child Over 1 Year Old
If you have a child over 1 year old who appears to be choking, the first step always is to make sure that he or she is, in fact, choking.
If the child is speaking forcefully or talking, the child is not choking. Immediately ask your child: “Are you choking?” If the child nods, tell your child you will help. Refrain from panicking. Call your local emergency hotline while you perform the Heimlich maneuver. To do this, carry out the following steps to help your choking child over 1 year old:
- Stand behind your child and wrap your arms around their waist.
- Make a fist with one hand, thumb side pointed back toward yourself.
- Place your fist below the chest but above the navel and grab your fist with the other hand.
- Press up on the abdomen in a sharp motion.
- Repeat the move until the foreign object is ejected.
- Take your child to the doctor once the blockage is removed, as there may be a possibility that part of the object is still in the lung.
- Make sure to inform emergency personnel if the child loses consciousness.
Potential Choking Hazards
If your child is over 1 year old, they are already exploring their environment. They are also already chewing and swallowing solid food. This, together with the way food is prepared, poses a risk for choking.
Food that is uncooked, whole, or has certain shapes, are potential choking hazards. Cutting or mashing up the food can help avoid this occurrence. Pay attention to what your child is putting in his or her mouth.