Food or small objects can cause choking if they get caught in your throat and block your airway. This keeps oxygen from getting to your lungs and brain. If your brain goes without oxygen for more than four minutes, you could have brain damage or die.
Young children are at an especially high risk of choking. They can choke on foods like hot dogs, nuts and grapes, and on small objects like toy pieces and coins. Keep hazards out of their reach and supervise them when they eat.
When someone is choking, quick action can be lifesaving. Learn how to do back blows, the Heimlich maneuver (abdominal thrusts), and CPR.
- Health Tip: Know the Warning Signs of Choking in Children (05/11/2015, HealthDay)
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): First Aid (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Conscious Choking (American Red Cross) - PDF
- Emergency airway puncture - slideshow Available in Spanish
- First Aid: Choking (Nemours Foundation)
- Responding to a Choking Emergency (Academic Pediatric Association)
- Choking and Strangulation Prevention Tips (Safe Kids Worldwide)
- Choking Hazards (Department of Agriculture)
- Choking Prevention (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Choosing Safe Toys (Nemours Foundation) Available in Spanish
- Household Safety: Preventing Choking (Nemours Foundation) Available in Spanish
- Infant Choking: How to Keep Your Baby Safe (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Reducing Choking Risks (American Academy of Pediatrics) - PDF
- Are Your Window Coverings Safe? (Consumer Product Safety Commission) - PDF Available in Spanish
- Foreign Object Inhaled: First Aid (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Foreign Object Swallowed: First Aid (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Suffocation Danger Associated with Children's Balloons (Consumer Product Safety Commission) - PDF
Pictures & Photographs
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Choking Game: CDC's Findings on a Risky Youth Behavior (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)