What to do if someone is choking


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Thousands of people die by choking every year and doctors say it’s important for people to have the tools needed to help.

Registered nurse for Northwest Health, Brandy Stefonek said adults are most likely to choke on food, while kids are most likely to choke on age inappropriate toys.

Stefonek said it’s important for people of all ages to recognize the universal signs of choking and know how to move forward. 

“It’s a little hard for little children to do it,” Stefonek said. “But if they know to call 911, if they know to say ‘Sissy choked on a small toy,’ those kinds of things are what we really teach children.”

Some of the signs someone is choking include putting their hands to their throat, making odd noises, or blue lips.

Stefonek said the first thing you should do if you find yourself in this situation is to confirm the person is choking and try to stay calm. 

“It’s very stressful,” Stefonek said. “Not being able to breathe is one of the worst things ever and life threatening, so it’s really hard. But keeping yourself calm, knowing what to do ahead of time, and being prepared is best.”

Click here for information on how to properly perform the Heimlich maneuver on others or yourself.

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