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There are two different types of obstruction that can be associated with choking. The first is mild airway obstruction. This could be a fishbone or a small object that has been caught in the throat. It is uncomfortable, may be painful and they may be distressed. The easiest way to find out if they can breathe is to ask them if they are choking. If they can talk, then they can breathe, so the best action is just to keep them calm, encourage them to cough, which would normally be enough to clear it. You can look in their mouth and if the obstruction is obvious, then you could remove it, but do not put your fingers deep into their mouth. A severe airway obstruction is far more serious and it means that something is stuck in their throat completely blocking it, and they are unable to breathe, talk, or cough and they will eventually become unconscious if the object is not cleared. So we need to do what we can to clear it.

When dealing with choking on a child, it is basically the same as doing choking on an adult but there are some different considerations you need to take into account. To start with, the child is going to be a lot smaller. Because the child is smaller, you may need to kneel down behind the child in order to deliver the back blows and the abdominal thrusts. Also, the child is going to be very distressed and you are going to be distressed as well. Therefore, you may find the need to be quite forceful. The child may try and turn and fight against you while you're doing this, but you must get this obstruction out. To deal with severe choking you should stand behind them slightly to one side and ask them to lean forwards while you support their upper body with one hand, turn the other hand provide five sharp back blows between the shoulder blades using the heel of your hand. Check in between each one to see if the obstruction has been cleared. If the back blows haven't worked, you need to perform abdominal thrusts.

To do this, you put both arms around the casualty and make a fist with one hand and place it in between their belly button and the bottom of their breastbone. Place your other hand on top of the fist and pull sharply inwards and upwards five times. Check each time to see if the obstruction was cleared. We perform abdominal thrust to force the air that is trapped in the lungs against the obstruction to hopefully force it out. If the obstruction remains, you will need to repeat the five back blows and five abdominal thrusts, checking between each to see if the obstruction has been cleared. If you cannot get the obstruction to clear, call the emergency services if you haven't already, and continue until they arrive. It may be possible to have a mobile phone on speakerphone so you can keep them updated. If the child loses consciousness, they will fall to the floor. Take care that you do not get injured while trying to catch them, but with a child, it may be easy to guide them down. If they're unconscious and not breathing, you will need to begin CPR. If you provide abdominal thrusts and successfully removed the obstruction, sit the child down and keep them calm. They will need to be checked up by a medical professional to make sure that the thrusts have not caused any injury.