How to Unchoke a Child

Posted on Oct 8, 2013 by 1 Comment

When my oldest daughter was but a wee little one, 18 months old, she was one of the happiest children I’d ever known. She was friendly and could always be seen with a full smile on her face. Oh that smile, how it brightened up my days.

She was also very fond of running. It was like a game, she would come to you, flash that gorgeous gummy smile and just as quickly run off in the opposite direction. One day she did it and my entire life flashed before my eyes.

You see, she was eating a raisin; such an innocuous thing to do.  A child eating one of nature’s healthy snacks is what ad campaigns are made of. She gabbed the raisin and ran off in the other direction. Only this time there was no giggles, or coyly looking back in my direction urging me to “follow me mama!”

There was only silence; silence and just the faintest purple hue surrounding her lips. I saw immediately and knew this was not normal. This was my baby, choking.

I ran to her and Heimliched her. I tried to clear the passage way with my finger and in a state of frantic I have never known before that moment, I looked for a pen and a knife. I was completely ready to trache my baby. I didn’t care what I had to do but I was not going to let my daughter die. All I kept hearing playing over and over in my head was, “NOT.ON.MY.WATCH!”

I was absolutely terrified. My husband was petrified. He was immobilized with fear and eventually went for the phone. As he watched on, I went into crazed mother mode. I didn’t care what I had to do, all I knew was that I could not, would not, watch my baby slip away before my very eyes.  I continued to Heimlich and eventually, the raisin dislodged and flew out of her mouth; leaving my precious child afraid and discombobulated.

As tears streamed down both of our cheeks, I held her close and swore to never let her eat nature’s seductress fruit the raisin again and she never has, nor will she ever while under my roof. Raisins are fruita non grata in my house.

So, you see, every single parent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister and grandmother or grandfather needs to know how to unchoke a child. This is how it is done.

If you see your child having trouble breathing, perhaps holding her throat, fainting or lips turning blue, she might be choking. It can happen at any time. You can be the best, most attentive parent alive, but once the choking has begun there is no time for blame, only saving.

Encourage your child to cough.

If the object will still not dislodge, Heimlich her.

Stand behind her, reach around her waist, place your fist above her belly button and grab your fist with your other hand.

Pull in and up quickly.


If your child cannot speak or faints, call 911 while someone performs CPR.

It’s easy to think what you would do in this situation before it actually happens, but when your child is actually choking, all common sense leaves the building and you can’t be sure how you will react. If you are frozen, call 911 immediately.

Has your child ever choked and what did you do?

Photo Source: Jeroen Kransen

Posted in: Health
Deborah Cruz

Deborah Cruz, aka Truthful Mommy, is the creator of the magic that is The TRUTH about Motherhood. She is a wife, a writer, fashionista, and semi-crunchy, work-at-home Ninja Mommy living in the Midwest with her two beautiful girls and her husband. Waiting on her children in pick up lines, she can likely be found chirping on Twitter and engaging on Facebook

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