From our experience, one of the biggest and most common fears we encounter with new and expecting parents is that their little one will choke. If you’re in the same boat - read on for baby and child choking first aid 101!

Partial Obstruction
If your child has an effective cough, use gravity and lean them forward. Encourage them to keep coughing. If the obstruction cannot be cleared you must call 000. If they lose their forceful cough use the next technique for a complete obstruction.

Complete Obstruction 
If your child does not have an effective cough you should:
• Call 000
• Place your child in a head down position - for an infant (under 1 year old ) across your lap and child (1 - 8 years old) sitting or standing up
• Give up to five back blows using the heel of one hand, in between the shoulder blades. Short and sharp. Check the airway between each back blow to see if the obstruction has cleared.

If your child is still choking
Give up to five chest thrusts using two fingers, in the middle of the chest between the nipples. Short and sharp. Check the airway between each chest thrust to see if the obstruction has cleared.

If your child is still choking
Alternate between five back blows and five chest thrusts until the obstruction is cleared (checking the airway to see if it has cleared in between each back blow or chest thrust), paramedics arrive, or until they render unconscious. If they render unconscious you must start CPR.

Note: The obstruction may clear during CPR compressions. If this occurs roll your child on their side and clear the mouth of the foreign object.

Feel like you need a proper practice? A Tiny Hearts First Aid course guide parents through many invaluable health topics for your little one, including choking first aid, and give you ample time to practice your skills on manikins. Head to their website here for more information and to find a course near you.