Infant Choking (less than 1 year old)

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This lesson pertains to infants less than one year old who are CONSCIOUS. If the infant is unconscious, you should begin to perform CPR.

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The signs of infant choking are high-pitched sounds like to those made by a crow, inability to breathe, inability to cry, and noisy breathing, raspy breathing. If you notice any of these signs, you should determine if the child’s airway is blocked. If the airway is blocked you should proceed with the following steps.


While supporting the infant’s head and neck, lay the infant face down on your forearm. Use your lap or leg to support the infant. Keep the head lower than the body.

Using the heel of your hand, execute five quick, forceful slaps between the infant’s shoulder blades. These are called back blows.

If the item hasn’t been dislodged from the infant’s airway, turn the infant face up on your arm. Use your lap or leg for support and keep the infant’s head lower than the body.

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Place two fingers on the breastbone just below the nipples. Execute five quick thrusts downward with your fingers. Depress the chest by 1/3 to 1/2 of its depth each time you thrust. These are called chest thrusts.

If the item still isn’t dislodged from the infant’s airway, repeat the back slaps and chest thrusts. Five back blows, five chest thrusts, and repeat.


If the object isn’t removed, the infant will pass out. If the infant becomes unconscious from choking, perform CPR.


We also offer a free certificate of completion. To receive the certificate you must pass a 50-question test with a score of 70 or higher. Check ourĀ Basic First Aid Certificate of Completion page for more information.

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