Skip to content

Don’t Panic, Act Quickly! Tips for Assisting a Person Who is Choking

Chokingit can happen to anyone, at any time. It’s a scary situation that requires quick action and knowledge to prevent serious injury or even death. But don’t panic! With the right tips and techniques, you can assist someone who is choking with ease and confidence. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to act quickly and efficiently in an emergency choking scenario.

What is Choking?

Choking is a condition that occurs when the airway is blocked, preventing air from entering the lungs. Choking can be caused by a variety of objects, including food, liquids, and even toys if the victim is a small child. When someone is choking back blows along with abdominal thrusts can be used to dislodge objects from the airway.

Signs of a Choking Victim

When someone is choking, their airway is blocked and they cannot breathe. Choking is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.

Signs of a choking victim include:

  • Coughing
  • Gagging
  • Inability to speak or make any noise
  • Panic or anxiety
  • Skin that is red or turning blue from lack of oxygen

First Aid for Choking Victims

If you see someone choking, it is important to act quickly and not panic. The following are steps you can take to help a choking victim:

  1. Encourage the person to cough. If the person is able to cough, it means that their airway is only partially blocked and they may be able to dislodge the object on their own.
  2. If the person cannot cough or if their coughing is not effective, you will need to provide back blows and abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich maneuver). To do this, stand behind the person and place one arm diagonally across their chest. Next have them bend over at the waist so their air way is at least parallel to the ground. Perform five back blows using the palm of the hand that is not supporting the victim. Remember back blows help loosen any objects in the air way so make sure the back blows are done with enough force to do so. Next stand the victim up and place two fingers above their belly button. Now make a fist and place it above your two fingers with your thumb facing the victims stomach. Remove your fingers and grab your fist and give five quick upward thrust into their stomach. Repeat back blows and abdominal thrusts until the object is dislodged or the person becomes unconscious.
  3. If the person becomes unconscious, you will need to call 911 and begin CPR.

When to Call 911

  • If someone is choking and unable to breathe, it is a medical emergency. Call 911 immediately.
  • Do not try to give the person anything to eat or drink.

How to Perform Back Blows and Abdominal Thrusts (Heimlich Maneuver)

If someone you’re with starts to choke, don’t panic! Acting quickly is key. First, see if the person can cough up the object that’s blocking their airway. If they can’t, it’s time to perform the Heimlich maneuver.

Here’s how:

  1. Stand behind the victim and place your arm diagonally across their chest.
  2. Bend the victim over at the waist so their airway is at least parallel to the ground.
  3. Perform 5 back blows by striking the victim between the shoulder blades with your palm.
  4. Next stand the victim up and position yourself behind the victim and wrap your arms around their waist.
  5. Make a fist with one hand and place it just above the person’s navel.
  6. Grab your fist with your other hand and give 5 quick, upward thrust – like you’re trying to lift them up. Repeat this process until the object is dislodged and they can breathe again.

If you’re alone and choking, you can still perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself – just use a hard surface (like a countertop or chair) to thrust against, rather than another person.

Other Techniques to Help Unblock an Airway

There are a few other techniques that can be used to help unblock an airway. One is the Heimlich Maneuver, which can be performed on adults and children who are over the age of one. Another technique is chest thrusts, which can be used on adults and children of any age. Finally, back blows can be used on infants under the age of one.

Tips for Prevention of Choking Hazards

  1. Avoid talking or laughing while eating food, candies, and chewing gum.
  2. Cut food into small pieces and chew thoroughly.
  3. Be cautious when eating or drinking around young children.
  4. If you are cooking for someone who is at risk for choking, avoid using small pieces of food that can easily lodge in the throat. For example, cut chicken or steak into large strips rather than small cubes.
  5. If you are feeding a child, be sure to cut their food into appropriately sized pieces and supervise them while they eat.

In Summary:

Choking is a serious danger that can occur to anyone, any where at anytime. Knowing the proper steps for assisting someone who is choking can help you save their life and prevent any lasting damages. Our tips for assisting someone who is choking should give you confidence in your ability to respond quickly and appropriately if ever faced with this emergency situation. Do yourself a favor by arming yourself with knowledge so that should an emergency arise, you’ll be prepared and know exactly what to do!  For additional First Aid / CPR information contact us today at, or give us a call us today at 800-819-6092 and check out our video demonstration below.



No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Sign Up For Safety Training

Click below to get a quote with one of our safety professionals.