Do you know what to do if a baby is choking: #TheChokeables

Do you know what to do if a baby is choking: #TheChokeables

Have you ever had to deal with a choking baby? Just before Christmas, my sister and her husband and baby came to stay for a few days. One lunchtime, we were sat in the kitchen and I had my 8 month old niece sat on my lap. Taking my attention away from her for a split second, I suddenly realised that she had started nibbling on a tortilla chip and that she was starting to choke. She wasn’t making any sound, but she had started to turn bright red and her eyes were bulging a little. Despite me having done a First Aid at Work qualification with St John Ambulance a few years ago, my instant response was to feel full of panic. Luckily I then remembered to hit her on the back and this dislodged the chip and she started screaming. A crisis averted, and I remember how vigilantly you have to watch a weaning baby.

St John Ambulance has revealed today that four-fifths of parents (79%) wouldn’t know the correct technique for saving their baby from choking despite it being a major fear (58%) and 40% having witnessed it. Last week, they invited me to watch their new campaign, which includes a star-studded animated advert that teaches everyone what to do if a baby starts to choke. The film features the voices of David Walliams, David Mitchell, Johnny Vegas, and Sir John Hurt, who play several choking hazards who are fed up with babies choking on them.

St John Ambulance is asking people to share the film online widely with their friends and family so that as many people as possible can learn to save a life.

I also had the opportunity to attend a First Aid class and learn some First Aid skills. I also learnt that research St John Ambulance carried out suggested that of those who said they knew how to save a choking baby, only 29% actually knew the correct, recommended technique. Nearly three quarters of parents (71%) selected the wrong answer when given multiple choice options.

More than half the parents they spoke to thought attending a First Aid course or knowing First Aid skills would make them feel more confident and better prepared. As I was already a First Aider at Work when Pip was born, I never ended up attending another course, but I actually thought it would be more useful than attending an antenatal class, as knowing First Aid can literally be the difference between life and death.

For some reason, I thought that attending a First Aid course would be quite expensive, but actually St John Ambulance runs a 3 hour course for £30 (£25 plus VAT) which I think is excellent value. I am going to sign up M, stat. If you are interested, you can book your course here. You can also find out more information on the advert and other courses here.

I am giving away a copy of the updated First Aid Manual which includes advice on how to treat infant choking, and also a small travel First Aid Kit. The kit comes in a tough bag with a handle; we’ve hung ours from our buggy clip so that we know where it is and will automatically have it with us when we go anywhere. Enter by choosing one or more of the options below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions: 1. To enter First Aid Kit & Manual prize draw give-away you must either follow St John Ambulance on Twitter, follow The Little Pip on Twitter, or tweet about the giveaway. There are additional options for more entries. 2. The prize is 1 First Aid Manual and 1 travel sized First Aid Kit. No cash or alternative prizes will be given 3. The prize draw will start on 12.01.15 and end on 18.01.15 4. The winner will be picked from all valid entries 5. The winner will be notified directly via email. The winner must reply within seven days of receiving the email or a new winner will be picked at random. 6. I reserve the right to change the entry dates at any time, for any reason.

I wasn’t paid for this post but I did attend a First Aid class and receive a First Aid Manual and First Aid Kit from St John Ambulance.


  1. Slummy single mummy January 12, 2015 / 9:49 am

    I’m honestly not sure I would have known, or even that I would know what to do with an adult, so this was really useful – thanks for sharing!

  2. Polly January 12, 2015 / 10:15 am

    great post – Ireally want to do a course, as it’s such a scary situation to be in, and I tend to panic!

  3. Lilla Goatcher (@LillaJade) January 12, 2015 / 11:13 am

    I do actually – but only because I had to have first aid in the work place training when I worked at Toys’R’Us many moons ago. Saying that if I was in the actual situation my mind would no doubt go blank.

    This stuff is so important thought.

  4. Jenny January 12, 2015 / 11:19 am

    I still don’t allow my children crisps as they never chew them properly and always end up getting them stuck in their throats and they’re 3 and 4 now! I did a First Aid course with the Red Cross and it was brilliant, it never hurts to learn a few tips – just in case.

  5. Lia : Tangerine Canteen January 12, 2015 / 12:52 pm

    Such a good thing to share this video, I’d like to do a course. Both Flo & India have choked on something & it is terrifying, even when you do know what to do.

  6. lisa prince January 12, 2015 / 4:34 pm

    fantastic post, weldone for making awareness , my husband wont allow my children to eat certian foods such as flumps even at 12 incase of choking

  7. Kathryn January 12, 2015 / 7:43 pm

    Great reminder thank you – I’m sure I would just panic too! That video is great too! x

  8. Fiona January 12, 2015 / 8:28 pm

    I took a free first aid course at my local sure start centre just before my daughter started eating solids. I found it so reassuring, and it definitely helped with confidence. I’ve not needed to use any of my skills yet, and should probably do a refresher now that my daughter is a bit older! x

  9. abigail January 14, 2015 / 3:17 pm

    It’s pretty scary something like that happening, I’m no sure I would know 100% what to do, so thanks for sharing!

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