What to do if your baby is choking? | 3-step guide: How to perform infant CPR.

Babies can and do choke on food, toys, or can even slip under the water in the tub or a pool. We all hope we'll never be put in the position of having to save a baby's life, but it could happen.


Here is a 3-step guide on how to keep your infant safe.

Step 1. Assess the situation

If she's coughing or gagging, it means her airway is only partially blocked. If that's the case, let her continue to cough. Coughing is the most effective way to dislodge a blockage.

If a baby is suddenly unable to cry or cough, something is probably blocking her airway, and you'll need to help her get it out. She may make odd noises or no sound at all while opening her mouth. Her skin may turn red or blue.

Call 911 or your local emergency number if:

  • The baby isn't able to cough up the object. (Ask someone to call 911 or the local emergency number while you begin back blows and chest thrusts (see step 2, below). If you're alone with the baby, give two minutes of care, then call 911.

  • You suspect that the baby's airway is closed because her throat has swollen shut. She may be having an allergic reaction – to food or to an insect bite, for example – or she may have an illness, such as croup.

  • The baby is at high risk for heart problems

  • You witnessed the baby suddenly collapse.


Step 2. Try to dislodge the object with back blows.

  1. Carefully position him face-down on one forearm, cradling the back of his head with that hand.

  2. Place the other hand and forearm on his front. He is now sandwiched between your forearms.

  3. Use your thumb and fingers to hold his jaw and turn him over so that he's facedown along your forearm.

  4. Lower your arm onto your thigh so that the baby's head is lower than his chest.

  5. Using the heel of your hand, deliver five firm and distinct back blows between the baby's shoulder blades to try to dislodge the object.

  6. Maintain support of his head and neck by firmly holding his jaw between your thumb and forefinger.

If the object does not come out, place your free hand (the one that had been delivering the back blows) on the back of the baby's head with your arm along his spine. Carefully turn him over while keeping your other hand and forearm on his front.


Step 3. Now do chest thrusts.

  1. Use your thumb and fingers to hold the baby's jaw while sandwiching him between your forearms to support his head and neck.

  2. Lower your arm that is supporting his back onto your thigh, still keeping the baby's head lower than the rest of his body.

  3. Place the pads of two or three fingers in the center of the baby's chest, just below an imaginary line running between his nipples.

  4. To do a chest thrust, push straight down on the chest about 1 1/2 inches. Then allow the chest to come back to its normal position.

  5. Do five chest thrusts. Keep your fingers in contact with the baby's breastbone. The chest thrusts should be smooth, not jerky.

Repeat back blows and chest thrusts


In an emergency instead of having to google "How to perform cpr on an infant" Dial 911 with your phone, and save that babies life with our Infant or Child CPR reference pocket card.

This life saving information should be hung on your car seat, stroller or clipped to a high chair, or in a diaper bag. Hanging loop or Fastening clip included are completely removable and reusable.

Know It. Stay Safe.



Resources for virtual Pediatric CPR class or CPR certification

FDNY Mobile CPR Program offers New Yorkers a virtual 30-minute class on hands-only CPR (please note, this program does not offer CPR certification). The free virtual classes are taught throughout the year by certified FDNY EMS members.

Cost: FREE

Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays

Times: 10:00 am to 11:00 am

4:00 pm to 5:00 pm


After completing our pediatric first aid certification course you will have the knowledge and confidence to respond to many different types of pediatric emergencies. Whether the child is injured or experiences a sudden illness, you will be able to help him/her until appropriate help arrives or the child is seen by a healthcare provider. Your skills in pediatric first aid may save a child's life.


Dates: At your own pace


Infant Safety and CPR Class. This class will help prepare you for the unexpected and will give you important information. This class covers car seat safety, infant choking, safe sleep, safe baby wearing and the very important infant CPR.

Cost: $45

Dates: Saturday: March 13, 2021, April 10, 2021, May 15, 2021, June 5, 2021, July 3

Time: 10:15 AM


Here is an easy to follow video on how to perfrom infant CPR.

Medical Disclaimer: This site cannot and does not contain medical advice. The medical information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate medical professionals. Back blows and chest thrust technique curtosey of babycenter

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