Care for a Choking Infant (also called Infant Heimlich Maneuver)

Always call 911 for a medical emergency. It is the safest and fastest way to get life-saving help.

911 call takers are trained to ask a series of important questions that usually begin with "What's your emergency?" 
The questions allow call takers to send the right type of help. Know that as call takers are asking questions and gathering information, they are dispatching units and sending information real time. 911 operators are trained to talk callers through giving first-aid or CPR, if necessary. 
If you are alone, contact 911 before administering aid. If you are not, have one person call 911 as the other gives assistance. 

Determine if the infant can cry or cough.
If your infant is choking and cannot cough, cry, or breath, follow these instructions.

  1. Give 5 back blows.
    Place your baby facedown on your forearm and grip their jaw with your hand. Rest your arm on your leg. With the heel of your other hand, give the child five forceful and rapid blows between his/her shoulder blades.
  2. Give 5 chest thrusts.
    If the object does not dislodge, turn the infant face upward and resting on your thigh. With your index and middle fingers on the center of his/her breast bone (just below the nipples), give him/her five chest thrusts that are 1 to 1-1/2 inches deep. Alternate between back blows and chest thrusts until he/she coughs up the object or begins to breathe on his/her own.
  3. Look in the mouth to check if you can see the object.
    If you can see the object remove it carefully with your finger. Do not do a "blind" finger sweep.
Featured Video
Illustration showing how to perform the Infant Heimlich Maneuver

*This is not a complete guide to CPR or the Heimlich Maneuver for infants, children or adults. Please consider the many reasons to take training courses and get CPR certification to be confident you know how to correctly perform CPR for all ages.