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How do I prevent…?



On average, a child dies in the UK every month from choking, and hundreds more require hospital treatment. It can happen quickly, and the effects can be devastating.

Yet it doesn’t have to happen.

“Choking is a leading cause of death for children under the age of three"


What can I do to stop my child choking?

  • 1: Always cut up food

    Babies and young children can choke on small, sticky or slippery foods. Always cut foods like tomatoes, grapes and blackberries into quarters. Make sure sausages are cut into very small pieces.

  • 2: Keep small objects out of little hands

    Babies and toddlers examine things around them by putting them in their mouths. Keep surfaces clear of small toys like building bricks and marbles, and always clean up after playing, especially if you have older children.

  • 3: Sit them down to eat

    Children are more likely to choke if they slip or trip while eating. Make sure children sit down to eat and drink, and not lie down, walk or run.

  • 4: Stay within arm’s reach

    ALWAYS supervise babies and young children.

NHS Choices gives a general introduction to basic first aid. We’d also advise parents and carers to take a child first aid training course – they’re available from a variety of providers.

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