New first aid advice on how to help a choking baby has been issued to parents.
St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross and St Andrew’s First Aid have updated their advice after research suggested that many parents did not know what action to take.
The new advice is to place the baby face down along the thigh while an adult strikes the child’s back.
First aid experts say this gives the baby more support compared with the previous advice, which was to place the baby along the adult’s arm.
A survey of 1,000 parents of under-fives found 38% had seen their child choke.
Half of the parents said they did not know the correct way to help their child or how to clear the obstruction.
Nearly half said they avoided giving their child certain foods in case they choked.
Clive James, training officer at St John Ambulance, said: ‘If an infant is choking then, in the first instance, they should be laid face down along your thigh and supported by your arm, give them five back blows between the shoulder blades with your heel of your hand.
“Previously this was done along the arm but the leg is felt to be more secure and provide more support.
“Check their mouth for any obstruction. If there is still a blockage then turn the infant onto their back and give up to five chest thrusts.
“Use two fingers, push inwards and upwards against their breastbone.
“If the obstruction does not clear after three cycles of back blows and chest thrusts, call for an ambulance and continue until help arrives.