Rescueblue: Tips on how to avoid choking to save your Kiddos life

Childrens First Aid Course

With the silly season almost upon us, all that extra food and festivities - it's a timely reminder to book a Childrens First Aid Course.

Kiddo recently spoke with Rescueblue Paramedic Jess Peters. She is a mother and in her role as an Intensive Care Paramedic, she has been to numerous choking incidents, both adult and children. She wanted to share this story and raise awareness about how to avoid choking and how important it is to learn Childrens first aid.

Jess has used medical tongs, known as Magill forceps, to remove half-chewed steak from an elderly patient’s throat and she's pulled slippery grapes out of an unconscious child’s airway. Choking is by far the most common topic that people ask her about.

She shares this story below, mother Leanna, a parent that attended a Rescueblue First Aid Course and her experience with her baby boy Ash. Her story reveals just how important it is to be equipped with the knowledge to deal with an emergency situation!

From Leanna:

Morning Rescueblue, I want to share with you an incident that happened last night. We had a very real choking scare with Ash. It happened at dinner and LUCKILY, I had done the Little Aid workshop and knew exactly what I had to do and how to do it correctly. Ash started to choke at dinner! I managed to dislodge the piece of food from my son’s throat using the back blows that you taught me. Why am I telling you this? Because if I had not done the course, things could have turned out very differently. Last night could have gone another way, so from the bottom of my heart thank you for teaching me what I needed to do.

 Ps: Ash is totally fine and finished his dinner like nothing had happened. Mum and dad had a very stiff drink.”

Here are Rescueblue's tips on how to avoid choking:

  • Don’t eat on the run – I remember the first choking incident that I went to roughly 11 years ago. A little girl was playing tip with her sister and eating a sandwich at the same time. Her sister tipped her, pushing her in the back causing her to fall over. At the same time she inhaled and huge chunk of sandwich which lodged in her airway. Make it a habit for your child to sit down when they eat.


  • Small pieces not big chunks – This might seem obvious, but needs to be mentioned. A baby’s airway is extremely narrow, around the diameter of a drinking straw. Everyday foods such as cherries, blueberries and grapes are the perfect size to lodge in a child’s airway. Make sure that you cut or squash anything that is spherical in nature. We recommend cutting into quarters “cut it, then cut it again”. If you don’t have access to a knife, squash it with your fingers.


  • Observe – It is really important that you have an “eyes on approach” when your child is learning to swallow. A complete airway obstruction can be silent, without any coughing and minimal gagging. So keep a watchful eye and make sure they are never left unattended.


  • Know what to do – This is by far the most important piece of advice. It is exceptionally important that you know what to do if things take a turn for the worse. Of course, we will always recommend that you do a Rescueblue Children's First Aid Course (Little Aid Workshop), but if you decide to go with another provider, make sure that they still practice what they preach. If they claim to be paramedics, nurses or doctors, make sure they still work in their field full-time and teach on the side. First aid guidelines are always changing, so make sure that your teacher is current.

Rescueblue is offering Kiddo parents the opportunity to attend one of their Childrens First Aid Courses. They run for 3 hours and a cost of $85, the next one is 28 November and tickets can be purchased here