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.
- Choking and Strangulation Prevention Tips (Safe Kids Worldwide)
- 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
Treatments and Therapies
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): First Aid (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Choking: What to Do for an Infant (American College of Emergency Physicians)
- 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)
- 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
- Choking Game: CDC's Findings on a Risky Youth Behavior (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)