Laurian Horowitz is the owner of Colorado Life Lessons, LLC, a company offering American Red Cross classes to the Denver/Boulder metro area. She offers some basic steps to take if you ever suspect an infant is choking.

Horowitz said, “Overall, if an infant is having an emergency it tends to be a breathing emergency. The most common breathing emergency in infants is choking. Choking can be caused by a wide variety of things, including small toys, food that is too big, and allergic reactions that cause swelling of the throat and mouth. If you believe that someone is choking and they are still coughing, please continue to encourage them to cough.”

She continued, “Someone is only truly choking once they stop coughing, and they can no longer speak, cry, or breathe. For infants (under the age of 12 months), we are going to step in and try to dislodge the object by using a combination of back blows and chest thrusts.”

Horowitz offered the following steps:

Always support an infant’s head in everything you do. Begin by grasping their chin and laying them along your forearm with their head below the rest of their body.
Using the palm of your other hand, strike 5 times between their shoulders.
Then grasp the back of their head, sandwiching them between your forearms and turn them over onto your other arm so they are now face up.
Using 2 or 3 fingers perpendicular to their chest, compress the chest 5 times about 1/2″ to 1″ deep just below the nipple line.
Continue alternating between back blows and chest thrusts until the object comes out, they begin to cough, cry, breathe on their own, they become unconscious, or EMS arrive.
Of course, If an infant becomes unconscious at any point, call 911.

Colorado Life Lessons, LLC offers classes in both Child CRP/AED and Infant CPR. Please contact them at or (303)257-9589 with any questions.