Clever video shows how to stop a baby choking


They’re unlikely superheroes, but a peanut, pen lid, princess and jelly baby have joined forces to help save children’s lives. “The Chokeables” are the stars of a new campaign to show how to help a choking baby.

The 40-second clip, made by St John Ambulance in the UK, features the voices of David Mitchell as a pen lid, David Walliams as a princess doll, Johnny Vegas a jelly baby and Sir John Hurt as a peanut.

“Babies are choking on innocent looking things like us. And we’ve had enough. I’m a baby that chokes babies, such a tragic irony,” begins the jelly baby.

The animated toys then demonstrate how to give first aid to a choking baby:

  1. Lay them face down on your thigh and give up to five back blows.
  2. If that doesn’t work, turn them over and give up to five chest thrusts until the airway is clear.
  3. If that still doesn’t work, call an ambulance.

St John Ambulance says it devised the campaign after learning more than 40 per cent of parents had seen their babies choke, but almost 80 per cent didn’t know what to do in the situation.

“We hope people love the video and share it with their friends and family, so that as many people as possible know some first aid,” the organisation says.

Anything smaller than a D-size battery is a choking risk for babies and toddlers under the age of about three, according to the Raising Children Network. Parents are advised to avoid exposing young children to toy parts, balloons, pebbles, coins, jewellery, small batteries and foods such as raw carrots and apples, nuts, popcorn, grapes, skinned hot dogs and sausages, uncooked peas and fruit pips and stones. The network has handy diagrams showing how to stop choking in both very young and older children.

The ACCC’s Product Safety Australia also has a free DIY choke check tool that can help parents and other carers identify toys and other household objects that may pose a risk.

St John Ambulance Australia says signs an infant’s airway is blocked include coughing, wheezing, gagging, difficulty breathing, making a whistling or “crowing” noise (or no noise), and face, neck, lips, fingernails or ears turning blue. Adults may also have difficulty speaking or swallowing, and may clutch their throat.

I took a first aid course before my first child, but really can’t remember very much of it so I love this simple refresher. Have you ever had to give a child first aid? Tell us below.

Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Michelle is a journalist and mum to two girls who are obsessed with dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and princesses in equal measure. She lives in Melbourne's east with her husband, daughters and a giant, untameable labradoodle. Michelle loves all things vegetarian, wine (it's a fruit) and online shopping.

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