How to Do the Heimlich Maneuver on a Child

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Using the Heimlich maneuver on a child is similar to performing it on an adult. Do the Heimlich maneuver on a child with tips from a firefighter in this free first aid video.

Part of the Video Series: First Aid & Safety Procedures
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Video Transcript

You know one of the most frightening situations that we could ever encounter is that of a choking child that has an obstructed airway. Hi, I'm Captain Joe Bruni. And what we're going to talk about is how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on child versus an adult. It will be very similar to the same technique that's used on an adult victim. The first step that we want to try and determine is, is the person choking. They will usually show the international distress sign of choking, by placing both hands across the throat showing that they are choking. If the victim is sitting, have them stand. Explaining to them you are going to use the Heimlich maneuver. The Heimlich maneuver would be making a fist and using the thumb, right above the pelvic line of the child. And delivering upward thrusts up into the body, rapidly and forcefully. Trying to expel air and blow the obstructed airway or foreign body out of the upper respiratory tract. If that doesn't work, the next step for a child that is small enough in size. Would be to take the child, as you sit as a rescuer, placing your hand over the victims abdominal area, so you can lay the forward over top of your bent knee and deliver back thrusts. Supporting the child at all times. If that doesn't work, or the child becomes unconscious, gently lower the victim to the ground. And you would either straddle the victim or sit along side the victim by placing the hands on the abdominal area or the belly and driving upward forcefully towards the head. Delivering those blows. That would force air up through the lungs from the diaphragm and out the victims airway, helping dislodge the victims obstruction. Stay safe. I'm Captain Joe Bruni and we'll see you next time.


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