Choking is the 4th-leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States, the National Safety Council says.
The Heimlich maneuver is an effective way to help a person who is choking, but is not recommended for children under age 1.
Here are the agency’s suggestions for performing the Heimlich maneuver:
- Stand behind the choking victim with one leg forward between the victim’s legs.
- For a child, move down to the child’s level and keep your head to one side.
- Reach around the abdomen and locate the navel.
- Place the thumb side of your fist against the abdomen just above the navel.
- Grasp your fist with your other hand and thrust inward and upward into the choking person’s abdomen with quick jerks.
- If the person is pregnant, or you cannot get your arms around the person, give chest thrusts from behind; avoid squeezing the ribs with your arms.
- Continue thrusts until the victim expels the object or becomes unresponsive.
- After choking stops, seek additional medical care immediately.