Glossary >


This is some text inside of a div block.

Choking occurs when an object, food, or liquid blocks the airway, making it difficult or impossible to breathe. It can happen to anyone, but it is more common in young children and older adults.

Choking can be life-threatening and requires immediate intervention. Common signs and symptoms of choking include difficulty breathing or coughing, wheezing or noisy breathing, inability to speak or cry out, bluish skin or lips, and loss of consciousness.

If someone is choking, it is important to act quickly to clear the airway and restore breathing. The following steps can be taken:

  1. Call for emergency medical services (911 in the United States) immediately.
  2. Encourage the person to cough to try to dislodge the object.
  3. If the person cannot cough, perform abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich maneuver) to dislodge the object. This involves standing behind the person and applying upward pressure to the abdomen.
  4. If the person is unconscious, start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) immediately.

Prevention is key to avoiding choking incidents. Some tips for preventing choking include:

  1. Cut food into small, manageable pieces.
  2. Chew food thoroughly before swallowing.
  3. Avoid talking or laughing while eating.
  4. Supervise young children while they eat.
  5. Learn first aid and CPR skills to be prepared in case of a choking emergency.

It is important to note that some people, particularly those with disabilities or medical conditions that affect swallowing, may be at higher risk of choking. If you or a loved one has difficulty swallowing, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider to identify ways to reduce the risk of choking.

a group training in cpr/bls
CPR AED and First Aid Certification. Get certified Now with the latest AHA guidelines.
Takes less than 20 minutes. learn more