What to Do If Someone Is Choking: Responding to Adults, Babies, and Toddlers

Most people might not think that choking is such a big deal, but it really is! It can be a serious medical emergency if someone’s ability to breathe is at risk. You might be wondering what you should do if you see someone choking or if someone is choking in front of you. You can follow these simple stepwise instructions to help ensure that everyone survives the encounter:

Wash Your Hands

Your hands are the first line of defense against any kind of disease or infection, so they must be cleaned before you begin helping any person in need. Take a few minutes to wash your hands thoroughly, especially after coming in contact with someone who has been coughing or sniffling. It’s essential that you use at least an effective disinfectant or cleanser – like this trusted and popular pick from Neutrogena – to rid your hands of the germs that may be lingering after being in contact with someone who is sick. You should also consider using gloves and masks to help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.

Don’t Panic

Panicking won’t help! It won’t improve your odds of helping the person who is choking. Simply take a deep breath and try to stay calm. Your first priority should be to safely remove the obstruction from the person’s airway. You could try to remove the food from their mouth, but it’s usually best to spit it out until you’re sure that the object that’s causing the blockage has been removed. This will help decrease the risk of them choking again. You should also look for signs of trauma, like bleeding or bruising around the mouth or neck – these are signs of possible trauma that might have occurred due to the person choking. Make sure not to move the person who is choking unless absolutely necessary; moving them could cause further damage. Even then, only very little movement is needed. Once the person has been turned over, check for signs of breathing or pulse and be prepared to provide rescue breaths if needed. Once you’ve confirmed that they’re breathing and that nothing further is choking them, take a moment to reassure them and let them know that everything is going to be okay.

Stay With The Person

If you’ve managed to remove the object that was obstructing their airway, don’t just leave them there! Stay with the person to make sure that they’re okay. Do they need water? Is their airway clear? You might feel a little anxious, but it’s best to remain calm and assess the situation. The person who is choking might require additional assistance – like CPR or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation – so be sure to learn these skills prior to using them. If you’re not sure what to do, ask someone for help or contact your nearest emergency services provider.

Get Help

If everything goes well, it’s time for you to get some help! Once you’ve confirmed that their airway is clear and that they’re breathing normally, it’s time to call for medical assistance or one of the emergency services. Do not hesitate to call for help if you’re not sure what else to do. Even if they seem perfectly fine, it might be a good idea to have them evaluated by a medical professional. There are several cases where people have choked on food and needed CPR. If you suspect that this might happen to someone you know, it’s best to be prepared and learn how to do CPR.

Hopefully, none of this ever happens to you or someone you know. But, if it does, you can be sure that the steps outlined here will help ensure that they survive. And, of course, if they do happen to survive, it would be a huge blessing!

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