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Treat a Conscious Choking Infant

A choking victim can't breathe, which deprives the brain of precious oxygen. Using the following technique could save a life.


1. Look for signs of choking: coughing for several minutes without stopping; inability to cough, cry or breathe; abnormally weak cough; a high-pitched wheezing sound
2. Hold the infant, placing his or her front side along your forearm, stabilizing him or her by holding the face with your fingers. (Image 1)
3. Bend your knee, keeping the lower half of your leg perpendicular to the ground, and making a 45-degree angle between your lower and upper leg. (Image 2)
4. Place your forearm - the one that's holding the infant - against your upper leg.
5. Give five quick, sharp yet gentle blows to the infant's back, using the heel of your other hand. The blows should and between the infant's shoulder blades. (Image 3)
6. Transfer the infant to the other forearm so that his or her back is against it. (Image 4)
7. Place the forearm - the one that's holding the infant - against your upper leg, with your other leg in the same position as before.
8. Give five quick yet gentle thrusts with your middle and index fingers together on the center of the infant's breastbone. (Image 5)
9. Repeat the back-blow-and-chest-thrust cycle until the object is dislodged and the infant can breathe again


  • "Infant," for these purposes, refers to people younger than approximately age 1 (for children older than infants, see "How to Treat a Conscious Choking Adult or Child").
  • If the choking infant falls unconscious, check visually for the obstructing object and sweep it out. If you can't find or remove the object, treat for unconscious choking.

    Overall Warnings:

  • This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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