What should I do if my child has a foreign object stuck in his throat? Parents, collect it quickly!


In recent years, accidents of children suffocating due to foreign objects getting stuck in their throats have occurred frequently. If treatment is not received in time, serious cases can lead to death!

What we often call “throat stuck” is medically called “foreign body in the airway”. It is the most urgent and dangerous situation that a child may encounter during his or her growth and development! Once an accident occurs, there is almost no chance of hospital emergency treatment.

In our daily life, if a child suddenly suffocates due to a foreign body in the airway, how should parents provide emergency rescue? Throat? Chest beating? Backbeat? Do you want your children to run and jump? Or wait patiently for the 120 ambulance crew?

All of the above ! No! right!

If a child really inhales foreign bodies in the trachea, as a parent, you must stay calm and race against time to rescue immediately! In this moment, you are the “doctor” who can save the child!

Therefore, it is crucial to master the correct rescue methods. Next, let’s learn together—the Heimlich maneuver for children.

First of all, we must know how to identify the situation that indicates the inhalation of foreign bodies into the airway.

What is an airway foreign body?

Accidental inhalation of foreign bodies in the larynx, trachea or bronchi, collectively referred to as airway foreign bodies, mostly occurs in children under the age of 3-5, with the peak incidence in children aged 1-2 years old, and is more common in boys. It is the leading cause of suffocation death in children.

The foreign bodies mentioned here mostly refer to exogenous solid foreign bodies. Common ones include peanuts, melon seeds, jelly, beans, bones, etc., and rare ones include small plastic toy accessories, pen caps, etc.

Why are infants and young children prone to airway foreign bodies?

1.Tooth hypoplasia

2. Insufficiency of laryngeal protective reflexes

3. Weak ability to cough

4. Lively and active, prone to crying and fussing, crying, laughing or playing while eating

5. Bad habit of holding objects in mouth

supervise dangerous goods well 6. Parents do not

What will happen if a foreign body in the airway occurs?

Foreign bodies stuck in the throat often occur when eating or playing, playing, or crying while holding a foreign body in the mouth, especially in children .

The main symptoms are sudden choking, inability to pronounce, difficulty breathing, blue complexion, and cyanosis of the lips. Severe cases may rapidly cause loss of consciousness and even stop breathing and heartbeat.

Older children and adults who experience airway foreign body aspiration are characterized by expressions of extreme pain and often involuntarily clutching their throats with their hands in a “V” shape. This posture is called the “Heimlich sign.”

However, the symptoms of young children are often atypical and may only include coughing and cyanosis in the early stages.

Diagnostic methods for airway foreign bodies

Mainly chest imaging examination. Chest X-ray, chest CT, laryngoscopy, bronchoscopy, etc.

A 2-year-old child had a fishbone stuck in his glottis and was removed under a video laryngoscope.


A 3-year-old girl was playing around while eating lentils, and a foreign object got stuck in the bifurcation of the trachea. The bronchoscope was removed under general anesthesia.

After briefly learning the relevant knowledge about foreign bodies in the airway, the next step is the most important thing! !

First aid measures for airway foreign bodies— Heimlich maneuver

The Heimlich maneuver was first proposed by American doctor Henry Heimlich in 1974. Its mechanism is to compress the abdomen, increase the thoracic pressure, and allow the air in the lungs to be quickly exhaled, thereby potentially inflating the respiratory tract. Foreign objects in the mouth are discharged from the mouth. According to the age of the patient, there are different rescue methods as follows.

“Heimlich” back patting method and chest pressing method – baby version

Suitable for children under 1 year old. By slapping the back or pressing the chest, the patient is stimulated to cough, increases the pressure in the chest and abdominal cavity, and promotes the discharge of foreign matter.

Pat on the back. The rescuer holds both sides of the rescued child’s cheekbones with one hand and puts his arm on the child’s chest. Hold the back of the child’s neck with the other hand, use the thigh as support, and place the child’s face down in a head-down position. Use the heel of your palms to hit the child’s back and between the shoulder blades 5 times quickly, forward and downward.

Chest compression method. If the foreign body is not discharged after using the back patting method, the chest compression method can be used. Immediately turn the child over, face up, in a head-down and feet-high position, using the thighs as support, use the index finger and middle finger to press the sternum at the midpoint of the line between the child’s nipples, and press forward and downward quickly 5 times.

If the foreign body in the baby’s mouth is still not discharged, continue to turn it over and repeat the back patting and chest pressing methods. This cycle continues until the foreign body is discharged.

“Heimlich” First Aid – Older Children, Teenagers and Adults

The rescuer stands behind the patient, puts one hand around the chest and abdomen, makes a fist with the other hand, and places the thumb side of the fist on the patient’s abdomen under the rib cage and above the umbilicus. Then use the other hand to grasp the fist, quickly press the patient’s abdomen inward and upward, and repeat the technique until the foreign body is discharged.

Remember, when seeking help, call 120 immediately! The foreign body cannot be expelled using the Heimlich maneuver or the foreign body has been expelled but the child is not breathing spontaneously. When 120 is not reached, cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be used.

Wrong rescue may lead to aggravation of the condition, so remember the “four don’ts”!

1. Don’t pat your child on the back.

2. Do not let children stand on their heads.

3. Do not give water or vinegar to your children.

4. Do not put your hands into the child’s mouth to try to take out foreign objects.

Finally , parents, please remember that preventing accidents is always the most important thing!

Children (under 3 years old) whose molars have not yet fully erupted should avoid eating peanuts, melon seeds, beans, and other nut foods.

When children eat fruits with pits, they should take out the pits.

Babies should be careful about choking on milk and fruits. Fruits such as grapes need to be cut into fine pieces.

Do not make your child cry or laugh when eating to avoid aspiration of food.

Educate children not to put small toys in their mouths, and to take them out promptly when they find something in their mouths.

Parents should try to supervise their children when they are eating.

Common dangerous goods: jelly, candy, chewing gum, various nuts and beans, small round fruits (longan, grapes, cherries), large pieces of meat, spiny fish, coins, buttons, batteries, children’s stickers and anti-mosquito stickers wait

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *