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When should you call 911 about choking?

ANSWER

If the person is:

Young children are prone to choking. If a child is coughing and gagging but can breathe and talk, don't do anything. But if they can't breathe, call 911 immediately.

  • Unconscious
  • Not able to breathe
  • Wheezing or gasping
  • Not able to cry, talk, or make noise
  • Turning blue in the face
  • Grabbing at their throat
  • Looking panicked

From: Choking in Children WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

The Nemours Foundation: "Choking Instruction Sheet."

National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus: "Choking first aid - infant under 1 year - series."

National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus: "Choking first aid - adult or child over 1 year - series."

American College of Emergency Physicians: "Choking: What to Do for an Infant."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on September 10, 2017

SOURCES:

The Nemours Foundation: "Choking Instruction Sheet."

National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus: "Choking first aid - infant under 1 year - series."

National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus: "Choking first aid - adult or child over 1 year - series."

American College of Emergency Physicians: "Choking: What to Do for an Infant."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on September 10, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What should I do if my baby is unconscious due to choking?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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