Shayna Gavin, Splash Principal Physiotherapist
A child is choking. Do you know what to do?
I just updated my CPR training over the weekend, alongside a bunch of the swimming teachers I often share the pools with. I've been doing annual CPR updates since I was in late primary school, so am pretty used to the drill! The procedures change over the years though, and refreshers are important to keep those skills up to date.
Do you know what to do if a baby, child or adult is choking?
Here's the St John's Ambulance video about choking hazards, and how to help a choking baby
What to do if a baby is choking
These are pictures of the process for an infant under 1 year of age. Note that the pictures show you seated in a chair, laying the baby along your thigh face down, rather than along your forearm to administer the back blows. This is taught by some first aid organisations as it is felt to be more stable for the adult than using your forearm.
Here's a video explanation:
Here's the poster for an infant, under 1 year of age:
What to do if an adult or child over 1 year of age is choking
Here's the poster from the St John's Ambulance for an adult or child over 1 year of age:
Are you trained in CPR / first aid?
We strongly encourage families to get trained in CPR and First Aid from organisations such as St John's Ambulance, Royal Life Saving Australia, and Surf Life Saving Australia.
Find out more about first aid procedures
These and many other fact sheets can be found on the St John's Ambulance website in Arabic, Chinese, English, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese.
Please consider this post to be general advice.
It does not replace becoming accredited in first aid, nor seeking assistance from a medical professional.
Shayna Gavin is a physiotherapist who is passionate about helping babies, children and young people learn functional skills so they can participate in life at home, school and in their community. Recognising that children do best in their own environments, she visits homes, schools, and leisure activities from football fields to ballet classes. She also has daily aquatic physiotherapy sessions available at two private swimming schools in Moonee Ponds and Greensborough, Melbourne. She combines principles of paediatric physiotherapy, Neuro Developmental Treatment / Bobath, motor learning, Sensory Integration and swimming teaching to address the individual needs of each child and their family. She loves providing professional development to physiotherapists, allied health and education professionals, allied health assistants and swimming teachers.