0208 211 2054

The STS blog

Choking image - Lady holding throat
22 Jun 2016

What to do when someone is choking (over 1 year olds)

Posted By

The STS Quick Guide to Choking – What to do:

Have you ever wondered what you would do if a family member, friend or child was choking? Would you panic? Here is a quick and easy guide.

For children over the age of 1 year and adults only.

Mild or Severe Choking?

Mild Choking/Partial Obstruction?

May be able to speak, cry out, cough, can breathe with some difficulty, pale in the face.

Severe Choking/Total Obstruction?

Cannot speak, cry, cough or breathe. Lips and fingernails may turn blue.


Ask them if they are choking?


Tell them you are going to administer First Aid. Shout to anyone nearby to dial 999 if necessary.



Encourage person to cough. Dial 999 if necessary.




1. Tell the person to cough

If it is a partial obstruction and the choking is mild coughing may clear the blockage.


2. Back blows (3 Steps)





  1.       Stand behind the person and slightly off to one side.
  2.       Support the person’s chest with one hand and lean them forwards.
  3.       Administer up to 5 forceful blows between the person’s shoulder blades with the heel of you hand, pausing after each blow to see if the airway has cleared.


3. Not cleared? Abdominal thrusts (Heimlich Manoeuvre)




  1.       Stand behind the person and put your arms around their waist.
  2.       Lean them forward.
  3.       Make a fist with your hand and place it directly above their navel (belly button) and below the breastbone.
  4.       Put your other hand on top of your fist and thrust both hands backwards into their stomach with a hard upward movement.
  5.       Repeat up to 5 times checking after each thrust if the blockage has cleared.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3

If the treatment seems ineffective shout for help. Ask someone to call 999/112 for emergency help but don’t stop the treatment if they are still concious.


We hope this helps, remember to stay calm and don’t get put off your food….

Did you know?

We can supply for all your First Aid needs?

Just contact us and we will happily provide you with a competitive quote and deliver right to your door!


Check our first aid supplies shop for more information.