Skip to content

First Aid & Emergencies

Font Size

Adult or Child Older Than 1 Year

    If the person can cough or make sounds, let him or her cough to try to get the object out. If you are worried about the person's breathing, call 911.

    If the person can't breathe, cough, or make sounds, then:

    • Stand or kneel behind the person and wrap your arms around his or her waist. If the person is standing, place one of your legs between his or her legs so you can support the person if he or she faints.
    • Make a fist with one hand. Place the thumb side of your fist against the person's belly, just above the belly button but well below the breastbone. See picture A.
    • Grasp your fist with the other hand. Give a quick upward thrust into the belly. This may cause the object to pop out. You may need to use more force for a large person and less for a child or small adult. See picture B.
    • Repeat thrusts until the object pops out or the person faints.


    Illustration copyright 2002 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

    Picture A


    Picture B

      This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

      WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

      Last Updated: March 20, 2012
      This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

      Today on WebMD

      Antibiotic on hand
      3d scan of fractured skull
      Father putting ointment on boy's face
      Person taking food from oven
      sniffling child
      wound care true or false
      caring for wounds
      Harvest mite

      Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

      It's nothing to sneeze at.

      Loading ...

      Sending your email...

      This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


      Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

      WebMD the app

      Get first aid information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

      Find Out More