Choking, It’s not just the food!

When it comes to choking we usually think of food as the primary cause. Choking on food is a risk as food is something we usually eat on a daily basis, however understanding other causes that would make someone more prone to choking is also important.

What is Choking?

Choking is defined as either a partial obstruction (mild) or complete obstruction (severe) of the airway.

The two key factors are:

  1. Recognition
  2. First Aid

Who is at risk and why?

Generally, the risk of choking is increased in the following:

  • Babies and children
  • The elderly
  • Those with certain medical or health conditions

Babies and children tend to want to put everything in their mouth. Items including:

  • Coins
  • Small batteries
  • Small balls
  • Grapes (especially whole ones!)
  • Hot dogs
  • Bottle tops
  • Other small objects

Generally anything that is small enough to choke on is a risk.

The elderly could choke on food, medications or hard boiled sweets. It would always be wise to watch and be more aware of Babies, Children and the elderly when they are eating.

Medical or health conditions that can affect the way someone swallows, chews or their ability to maintain a good upright posture will all be an additional risk factor for choking.

Those with certain medical or health conditions including Parkinson’s Disease, History of Strokes, Dementia or anything else that may affect their swallowing, chewing or ability to control how much food they are eating at once also need to be considered when looking at risk. This would be particularly useful for care setting staff and those who work or live with anyone listed above.

Choking Treatment

Early recognition of choking is important to reduce the time someone’s airway is obstructed for

ADULT & CHILD (over 1 year)

Have you met baby Anne?

Meet baby Anne with Little Anne Anne is the baby of our training team Anne makes an appearance at all my First Aid training courses regardless of the level, quite simply because the skills you will learn from Anne are Lifesaving. For a chance to meet Anne and learn lifesaving skills, please contact me to

‘What would you do’ question on: Choking

You see someone choking, they then collapse to the floor unresponsive, What would you do? If as a bystander you see someone who is choking, then collapses to the floor unresponsive you should immediately phone 999 for an ambulance and immediately start resuscitation (CPR)  This could be at home, in a restaurant or anywhere as you go about your day to day life. Their airway