Children, particularly those aged from one to five, often put objects in their mouth. This is a normal part of how they explore the world. Some small objects, such as marbles, beads and button batteries, are just the right size to get stuck in a child’s airway and cause choking.
The best way to avoid this is to make sure that small objects like these are kept out of your child’s reach.
No matter how careful you are, your child may choke on something. In most cases, you or someone else will see your child swallow the object that causes choking.
There can be other reasons why your child starts coughing. However, if your child suddenly starts coughing, is not ill, and has a habit of putting small objects in their mouth, there's a good chance that they're choking.
If back blows don't relieve the choking and your baby or child is still conscious, give chest thrusts to infants under one year or abdominal thrusts to children over one year.
This will create an artificial cough, increasing pressure in the chest and helping to dislodge the object.
Even if the object has come out, get medical help. Part of the object might have been left behind, or your child might have been hurt by the procedure.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.