Choking in the Conscious Child
Alternate Names : Heimlich Maneuver for the Conscious Child, Obstructed Airway
What are the treatments for the injury?
If choking is suspected in a conscious child:
Nothing should be done if the child can still cough, breathe, or cry.
If the child is conscious, do not try to grasp any object lodged in the
throat, because this may push it down further.
No first aid steps should be started until it is certain that the child is
actually choking. If the child is actually choking, coughing and crying will be
very weak or impossible, and the child's distress will be very obvious.
If the person performing first aid is alone, he or she should shout for help
and begin first aid. If another person is there, he or she should
contact the emergency medical
Performing the Heimlich maneuver with the child sitting or standing
Stand behind the child with arms wrapped around the waist.
Make a fist with one hand.
Place the thumb side of the fist against the child's abdomen just above the
navel but well below the breastbone.
Grasp the fist with the other hand and press the fist into the child's
abdomen with a quick upward thrust.
Give up to 5 upward thrusts. Repeat until the object pops out or the child
Each thrust should be a separate and distinct movement.
Performing the Heimlich maneuver with the child lying down
Place the child face up.
While kneeling, straddle the child's thighs. Place the heel of one hand
against the child's abdomen in the middle, slightly above the navel and well
below the breastbone.
Place the second hand directly on top of the first.
Press the abdomen with a quick upper thrust.
Do not try to remove an object from a conscious child's mouth. This could push
the object further into the throat.
If the child becomes unconscious, begin first aid for choking in the unconscious child.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
The Heimlich maneuver can cause vomiting, injuries to internal organs, or
broken ribs. Vomiting can be a problem if the vomited material is caught in the
airway and inhaled into the lungs.
What happens after treatment for the injury?
It is important for a child who has choked to obtain medical care from a
healthcare professional. Occasionally, an object will enter the lung instead
of being expelled. This can cause
coughing, wheezing, or aspiration pneumonia.