First Aid for Choking

Things you can choke on.

Choking is the leading cause of death in children ages 14 and under, according to the American Academy of Pediatricians. The top foods that are choked on are hot dogs, carrots, apples, grapes, nuts, peanut butter, marshmallows, hard candy, and popcorn.

Signs of Choking

  • Inability to talk
  • Difficulty breathing or noisy breathing
  • Inability to cough forcefully
  • Skin, lips and nails turning blue or dusky
  • Loss of consciousness

The Heimlich Maneuver

What to Do

  • Call 911
  • Give 5 back blows. First, deliver five back blows between the person's shoulder blades with the heel of your hand.
  • Give 5 abdominal thrusts. Perform five abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich maneuver).
  • Alternate between 5 blows and 5 thrusts until the blockage is dislodged.
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