Choking can be pretty common – anyone can choke on something. While there are instances when choking solves by itself, it can also lead to more threatening situations.

Clutching their throat is a common sign that something is wrong. If the person cannot speak and they are gagging, they need your attention. Other signs include uncontrollable wheezing or coughing. If their airways are blocked, the lack of oxygen can lead to loss of consciousness. People who are choking can easily panic and it is important to keep them calm.

If you know the Heimlich maneuver, let them know you are about to do it to prevent suffocation. You can also call for assistance if others are nearby. Take note that this is not recommended for kids younger than 1. Another way is to stand behind the victim, and let them lean slightly forward while you are supporting their chest with one hand. Use your free hand’s heel and deliver around five strong blows between the shoulder’s blades to dislodge the foreign object.

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