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What happens when you choke on food: Heimlich Heroes | What Happens To Your Body When You Choke


Heimlich Heroes | What Happens To Your Body When You Choke


Feb 07, 2018

What Happens To Your Body When You Choke

Posted By Heimlich Heroes

Choking is a scary and serious experience. If you know and understand how your body works, it can help you recognize, respond to and prevent a choking emergency. Check out this helpful information on choking anatomy:

At the back of your throat the esophagus and trachea share an opening. Food goes down the esophagus and air goes down the trachea or windpipe.

The epiglottis is a small flap of cartilage that covers the opening of the trachea when you eat. When you swallow you body knows what to do and closes the trachea.

Occasionally, the epiglottis doesn’t close fast enough and food can slip down the trachea. Things like laughing, running, and goofing around while eating can lead to choking. Taking small bites and chewing thoroughly before swallowing can help ensure food goes down the correct pipe.

When food gets into the trachea sometimes your body can fix the problem by coughing up the blockages. But, when the object is lodged further down the trachea it blocks airflow to the lungs.

If someone is truly choking, they won’t be able to breathe or talk and their face might turn red. If the brain goes too long without oxygen, damage or even death can occur. Immediate action must be taken.

The Heimlich Maneuver® is the best way to help yourself or someone else who is choking. The quick inward and upward squeeze from the maneuver sends a strong burst of air from the lungs to the trachea to push the blockage out of the trachea and through the mouth.

It is important to learn how to correctly perform the Heimlich so it can be performed effectively and without harm. You can learn the maneuver by registering for Heimlich Heroes’ training program today!

To learn more about choking anatomy check out our flashcards and anatomy quiz!

Aspiration from Dysphagia | Cedars-Sinai

Not what you’re looking for?

What is aspiration from dysphagia?

Aspiration is when something enters
your airway or lungs by accident. It may be food, liquid, or some other material.
can cause serious health problems, such as pneumonia. Aspiration can happen when you
have trouble swallowing normally. Trouble swallowing is called dysphagia.

What causes aspiration from dysphagia?

When you swallow food, it passes
from your mouth down into your throat (pharynx). From there, the food moves down through
a long tube (the esophagus) and into your stomach. This journey is made possible by
series of actions from the muscles in these areas. Dysphagia happens when there is
disruption in the swallowing process as food and liquids pass through your mouth,
throat, and esophagus. 

The pharynx is also part of the
system that brings air into your lungs. When you breathe, air enters your mouth and
moves into the pharynx. The air then goes down into your main airway (trachea) and
your lungs. A flap of tissue called the epiglottis sits over the top of the trachea.
This flap blocks food and drink from going down into the trachea when you swallow.
in some cases, food or drink can enter the trachea causing aspiration. It may go down
you swallow. Or it may come back up from the stomach. A person with dysphagia is much
more likely to aspirate.

Dysphagia is more common in older
adults. Stroke is a very common cause of both dysphagia and aspiration. About half
people who have had a stroke also have dysphagia. About half of people with dysphagia
have aspiration. About one-third of these people will need treatment for pneumonia
some point.

Who is at risk for aspiration from dysphagia?

When a person has dysphagia, aspiration is always a risk. You may be at risk for aspiration
from dysphagia if you have any of these medical conditions:

  • Stroke
  • Severe dental problems
  • Conditions that lead to less saliva
    such as Sjögren syndrome
  • Mouth sores
  • Parkinson or other nervous system
  • Muscular dystrophies
  • Blockage in the esophagus such as a
    growth from cancer
  • Acid reflux
  • A history of receiving radiation or chemotherapy to the throat or neck for cancer

What are the symptoms of aspiration from dysphagia?

Aspiration from dysphagia can cause
symptoms such as:

  • Feeling that food is sticking in your throat or coming back into your mouth
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Trouble starting a swallow
  • Coughing or wheezing after eating
  • Coughing while drinking liquids or eating solids
  • Chest discomfort or heartburn
  • Fever 30 minutes to an hour after eating
  • Too much saliva
  • Feeling congested after eating or drinking
  • Having a wet-sounding voice during or after eating or drinking
  • Shortness of breath or fatigue while eating
  • Repeated episodes of pneumonia

Symptoms can happen right after
eating. Or they may happen over time. You may not have all of these symptoms. Your
symptoms may depend on how often and how much food or drink you aspirate.

Some people who aspirate do not
have any symptoms. This is called silent aspiration.

How is aspiration from dysphagia diagnosed?

You will need to be checked for aspiration from dysphagia if you have signs or symptoms.
You may also need to be checked if you have had a stroke or other health problem that
can cause trouble swallowing. If your healthcare provider thinks you may be aspirating,
you may be told to not eat or drink until you are tested.

Your healthcare provider will ask
about your medical history and symptoms. This may be done by a speech-language
pathologist (SLP). The SLP will try to find out if you have problems with the lower
upper part of your swallowing muscles. The SLP may ask about what foods or drinks
problems, and when your symptoms occur.

You may have a physical exam. This may include an exam of your teeth, lips, jaws,
tongue, and cheeks. You may be asked to move these areas in certain ways and make
certain sounds. Your SLP may also test how you swallow different types of liquids
and solids.

You may also need 1 or more tests.
These can help to find the cause of your dysphagia. Tests are often very helpful in
showing cases of silent aspiration. The tests may include:

  • Modified
    barium swallow test (MBS).
    This can show if material is going into
    your lungs.
  • Fiber-optic
    endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES).
    This can also show if material is going into your lungs.
  • Pharyngeal
    This checks the pressure inside your esophagus.

How is aspiration from dysphagia treated?

Your healthcare provider will try to treat the cause of your dysphagia. This may include
using medicines. In some cases, surgery may be able to treat the cause of dysphagia.

The symptoms of dysphagia also need to be managed. This may include doing things such

  • Changing your diet (such as thickening liquids or not having liquids)
  • Changing your position while eating (such as eating upright, tilting your head back,
    or bending your neck forward)
  • Not eating in bed
  • Eating smaller bites of food
  • Eating with supervision
  • Not talking while eating
  • Not being distracted during meals
  • Eating when you are most alert
  • Using tools such as straws
  • Doing exercises to strengthen your lips and tongue
  • Using special swallowing methods

As you recover, you may need to use fewer of these methods. Dysphagia after a stroke
may improve greatly over time.

You may still be at high risk of aspiration even with these methods. If this is the
case, you may need to use a feeding tube for a period of time to prevent aspiration.

What are possible complications of aspiration from

A major complication of aspiration is harm to the lungs. When food, drink, or stomach
contents make their way into your lungs, they can damage the tissues there. The damage
can sometimes be severe. Aspiration also increases your risk of pneumonia. This is
an infection of the lungs that causes fluid to build up in the lungs. Pneumonia needs
to be treated with antibiotics. In some cases, it may cause death.

Other possible complications from dysphagia include:

  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Increased risk of other illness

These problems can reduce your level of independence. They may also cause or lengthen
a stay in the hospital.

What can I do to prevent aspiration from dysphagia?

You can reduce your risk of aspiration by:

  • Taking good care of your mouth and teeth
  • Getting dental treatment (such as dentures) when needed
  • Taking medicines as advised
  • Stopping smoking
  • Sitting with good posture when eating and drinking
  • Doing oral exercises as advised by the SLP
  • Making changes to your diet as advised by the SLP
  • Asking your healthcare provider for other advice to prevent aspiration in your case

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Tell your healthcare provider right away if you think you may have a problem with
dysphagia or aspiration. It should be treated as soon as possible.

Key points about aspiration from dysphagia

  • Aspiration is when something enters the airway or lungs by accident. It may be food,
    liquid, or some other material.
  • This can cause serious health problems, such as pneumonia.
  • Aspiration can happen when a person has trouble swallowing normally. This is known
    as dysphagia.
  • Stroke is a common cause of dysphagia. Dysphagia can also result from other health
  • If you have any symptoms of dysphagia, you need to be checked for aspiration. You
    may also need to be checked if you had a stroke.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
  • Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your provider tells
  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments,
    or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment
    is prescribed and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that
  • Know how you can contact your provider if you have questions.

Medical Reviewer: Ashutosh Kacker MD

Medical Reviewer: Amy Finke RN BSN

Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN

© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.

Not what you’re looking for?

Here’s Exactly What To Do If You Choke While Eating Alone

Ellen Barkin was rushed to the hospital earlier this week after she choked on her lunch. According to TMZ, the Ocean’s Thirteen actress began to panic after food became stuck in her windpipe. And, it got so bad, she actually passed out.

Barkin was taken to the hospital, where doctors performed a variety of tests, and discharged her that night. Luckily, people were around to help her, but what should you do if you start choking on your food and you’re alone?

According to Sanford Vieder, D.O., medical director of Lakes Urgent Care in West Bloomfield, Michigan, the most important thing to do first is not to panic. “If you’re able to cough, say any words, or speak in any way, you’re not completely occluded,” he tells SELF. Resist the urge to drink anything to dislodge the food—a common mistake, he says—since it can make matters worse.

Then, try to cough as hard as you can to get it out. “The cough reflex is still your best friend to try to expel whatever may be stuck or caught,” Vieder says.

If that didn’t work, it’s possible to do the Heimlich maneuver on yourself, Marc Leavey, M.D., an internist at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center, tells SELF. To do so, make a fist with one hand and place your thumb of that fist below your rib cage and above your belly button. Wrap your other hand around your fist and push against the pit of your stomach in a hard, quick motion. “You can also use the back of a chair or corner of a table, pushing your body into the fixed object quickly to try to dislodge the object,” Leavey says.

If you’re still having trouble, Vieder recommends calling 911. Even if you can’t speak, the operator will send help if you don’t hang up. “That way, if you can’t dislodge the food and you pass out, hopefully help will be on the way,” Vieder says.

Once the food is dislodged, experts recommend seeking medical attention to make sure that everything is out, there are no residual problems with your throat, and that you didn’t hurt yourself trying to dislodge the object.

Of course, the best way to save yourself from choking on food is to prevent in the first place, although Leavey acknowledges that choking is “more common than you’d think.” To lower the odds it will happen to you, he recommends focusing on your food when you’re eating (instead of wolfing down food on the go or texting at the same time) and—although it sounds obvious—taking normal-sized bites and chewing your food well before you try to swallow. He also says it’s a good idea to limit the amount of alcohol you have when you eat, since it can weaken the reflex that directs food the right way.

Vieder says that it’s a good idea to be especially alert when you eat pork products, since those are the most common foods people choke on (although he says chicken and beef are up there, too.) “Even though we don’t give it much thought, eating is serious business,” he says. “Eat more slowly and pay attention—it’s important.”

What To Do If You Choke While Home Alone

A colleague of mine at Banner Health told a story about how she started choking, and her daughter had to call 911. Fortunately, she did the Heimlich maneuver on herself and was breathing just fine when the paramedics arrived.

But, this story got me thinking: What would I do if I were in that situation? I don’t know how to do the Heimlich on myself, so would I hope my dogs would run to find help? In reality, they’d see a bird or a rabbit, start running, and I’d be in trouble.

I asked Jasjot Johar, MD, who treats patients in the McKee Medical Center’s Emergency room, for some information on choking.

What is choking?

Choking happens when a foreign body blocks your airway. Dr. Johar explained there are two tubes leading downward from the throat. One of those is the trachea, and it goes into the lungs. The other tube is the esophagus, which goes to the stomach.

“Obviously, the only material that should be going down the trachea into the lungs is air,” said Dr. Johar. “Any food, fluids or anything other than air going down that pipe would be considered very dangerous.”

Dr. Johar explained that the most common food adults choke on is meat – typically, steak or chicken. He also said that, while fish bones can get stuck, they rarely cause someone to choke.

Choking hazards are slightly different for children, however.

“Balloons, batteries, coins and toys are all things that I have seen children choke on,” Dr. Johar said. “And, of course, certain foods like grapes, peanuts and hot dogs are notorious for causing choking in children.”

You may have heard you cannot talk when you’re choking. This is partially true. Dr. Johar explained that a completely blocked airway would make you unable to speak, but you can talk with a partially blocked airway. Just because you can talk doesn’t mean everything is OK, warned Dr. Johar.

“If you completely obstruct the airway, you are likely to pass out fairly quickly, and within minutes, this can become irreversible,” said Dr. Johar.

What should you do if you’re choking?

So, if you’re home alone and you start choking, what should you do?

Dr. Johar said the first thing to do is to call 911. Even if you’re able to clear the obstruction, it’s not a bad idea to have a paramedic check you out to make sure everything is OK.

After calling 911, try clear the obstruction.

“Trying to forcefully cough may expel the object. Do not try to reach into the throat or sweep the throat from above as that may actually push something down further,” said Dr. Johar.

If coughing doesn’t work, Dr. Johar says you can do the Heimlich on yourself. The good news is the basic technique is the same. Dr. Johar said to place one fist just below the rib cage and use the other hand to thrust upward and inward. Also, check out this visual representation of how to do the Heimlich on yourself.

Choking is serious business, and Dr. Johar recommends having things checked out if you’ve recently had a choking episode.

“Choking is almost always a sign of some mechanical issue involving swallowing or the airway,” said Dr. Johar. “Even if you are able to cough the object out and do not need to come to the hospital right away, following up with your physician is highly recommended.”

Join the Conversation

​How to Save Yourself From Choking

After a stressful day at the office, a night by yourself with a few episodes of Narcos, a couple beers, and takeout is just what you need.

But then the last bite of burrito supreme gets lodged in your throat. With no one around, and your airway blocked, what do you do?

It’s tough not to panic, because choking always causes a rush of adrenaline and fear, according to Richard Bradley, M.D., professor of emergency medicine at the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council.

Oxygen stored in the lungs can keep you alive for several minutes if your breathing is blocked. But if you don’t get the obstruction—the food—removed within four to six minutes, your brain can start to suffer serious damage. Irreversible brain death occurs in about 10 minutes.

But try to keep calm and act fast—your life depends on it. Follow these steps to save yourself from choking when you’re all alone.

Hack It Up

If you can cough or make any sound, that’s good news: Your airway isn’t completely blocked off, so you have a shot at coughing it out. Try to cough as forcefully as possible, like you do when you’re trying to hack up mucus when you’re sick.

Don’t drink any water to try forcing the food down—that can actually make it worse, Dr. Bradley notes.

(Abdominal) Thrust Yourself

Yes, it’s the same action you’d use to help someone else choke, but you’d be doing it on yourself. Make a fist with one hand and put the thumb side between your belly button and rib cage, Dr. Bradley says.

Then place your other hand on top of that. Push as hard as you can in a quick motion straight into the area. This will exert pressure on the bottom of the diaphragm, which compresses the lungs and forces the remaining air to push up through the trachea—hopefully with enough pressure to dislodge the food.

That’s the basics of it, but if the motion makes you nervous consider signing up for a Red Cross class to get the first aid procedure down. A class will be particularly helpful for learning how to assist others—for example, the Red Cross recommends back blows first when someone else is choking, and then follow with abdominal thrusts.

Use a Chair

If that’s not working, keep your hands in the same position and lean quickly over the back of a sturdy chair to exert more force into the push. This provides a hard pressure wave designed to drive air upward, providing enough force to propel the food out of its stuck position, Dr. Bradley says.

Call 911

If five or six quick thrusts isn’t doing the job, call 911 immediately, preferably from a landline. At this point, you’ve likely lost quite a bit of air and even though you can’t speak, and may pass out soon, emergency responders can help.

Emergency services will automatically send help to any call, even if no one is talking on the other end. In some areas, they have the technology to do this for cell phone calls as well.

Get Medical Attention

If you do get that food chunk out—congrats on saving your own life—then it’s still a good idea to go to the emergency room, Dr. Bradley advises. The type of hard thrusts necessary to expel food can do a number on your abdomen and organs, so you might be facing a ruptured spleen or other issues.

Also, there’s a chance some of the food could have gone into your lungs, which might cause inflammation, collapse or infection.

Play the Preventive Game

Of course, not choking at all is the best remedy. In addition to taking smaller bites and chewing more thoroughly, Dr. Bradley suggests limiting alcohol consumption.

“Many times when there’s choking, alcohol is involved,” he says. That’s because drinking changes your perception of when food is adequately chewed, so you tend to swallow sooner. Also, the muscles in your throat aren’t as coordinated as when you’re sober, says Dr. Bradley.

Keep in mind, too, that it’s not just big chunks of meat that can be a problem. “You could choke on a lozenge,” he notes. “The best thing is to stay aware as you’re eating, and know what you would do in an emergency situation.”

Elizabeth Millard
Elizabeth Millard is a freelance writer focusing on health, wellness, fitness, and food. 

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How to Survive Choking When Alone

You were so hungry that you barely chewed your meal. Now, a big chunk of food is stuck in your throat. If only there were someone around to help you. Your face is turning blue. Is this it? Is this how your life will end?

Choking occurs when a foreign object is lodged in the throat or windpipe, blocking the airflow. Adults usually choke on food, while children tend to choke on small objects, like pieces of toys.

And asphyxia happens when your body does not get enough oxygen to keep you from passing out. A person might not be able to speak and ask for help while choking, so look for signs like inability to talk, intense nose breathing, squeaky sounds, forceful coughing, and loss of consciousness. Also, look for skin, lips, and nails turning blue or dusky, or skin that is flushed and then turns pale.

But what if you’re the one who is choking and no one is there to help you? How much time would you have before dying? Should you drink water to push the food down? And how could a chair save your life?

Choking essentially cuts off oxygen to the brain, which is called cerebral hypoxia. Brain cells are sensitive to a lack of oxygen. Some brain cells start dying after less than 5 minutes without their oxygen supply. Irreversible brain death occurs in about 10 minutes.

In 2015, 5,051 people died from choking in the United States, according to an article posted on The National Safety Council. And 2,848 of them were older than 74. In the United States, the odds that you’ll die from choking on food is around 1 in 2,696. This is higher than the odds of dying from an accidental gun discharge or being a passenger on a plane. Choking while alone can be alarming, but if you remember these tips, you should be able to live.

Step 1. Don’t drink water

Do not try to force the food down your throat by drinking water. This can make the situation much worse and block your airway even more, making it impossible to dislodge the food.

Step 2. Eat slowly and Stay Sober

Prevent choking by taking small bites and chewing your food thoroughly. Don’t talk, and try not to laugh while you’re chewing. And be extra careful if you’re drinking alcohol. Having alcohol in your blood changes your perception of when you have chewed your food enough, so you tend to swallow sooner. In addition, the muscles in your throat aren’t as coordinated as when you are sober.

Step 3. Call for help

This may be against your instincts since you cannot breathe, but you need to call 911 immediately. You may not be able to vocalize what you are going through. But the operator can pick up cues when they hear you coughing and can dispatch first responders much quicker. Hopefully, the next steps will help you, and you can let them know that you’re OK.

But if you pass out, at least help will be on the way. In 2016, actress Ellen Barkin was having lunch, and she began to panic after food became stuck in her windpipe. She passed out, and was quickly taken to the hospital, where doctors performed tests and discharged her that night.

Step 4. Cough hard

If you can cough, make a sound, laugh, or cry, that is good news. It means that your airway is not completely blocked. So try to cough as forcefully as possible until the object blocking your windpipe is forced out.

Step 5. Use the Heimlich Maneuver

You will not be able to deliver back blows to yourself effectively. But you can perform abdominal thrusts to dislodge the item. Place a fist slightly above your navel, then place your other hand on top of the fist. Push inwards and upwards, as hard as you can, in a quick motion. This pressure on the diaphragm compresses the lungs and forces the remaining air to push up through the trachea, hopefully dislodging the food. You can also use a countertop or the back of a chair to press your stomach.

Step 6. Assess the damage

Those hard thrusts can hurt your abdomen and organs. If you had to push hard many times, you could be facing a ruptured spleen or other issues. Also, there’s a chance some of the food could have gone into your lungs, which might cause inflammation, infection, or collapse them. If you feel pain in your stomach or you still can’t breathe properly, go to a hospital immediately.

Never underestimate the importance of having a basic knowledge of first aid. Remembering these simple steps can mean the difference between life and death.


Why am I choking on my food?

As a Speech-Language Pathologist, one of the questions I am often asked is, “Why am I choking on my food?” The answer to this question is not clear-cut. In fact, there are a number of reasons why this unpleasant event might occur.

First-off, some anatomy

  1. Esophagus: the “food tube” that takes the food from your mouth to your gut
  2. Trachea: the “airway” tube that takes air from your mouth to your lungs
  3. Bolus: the food in your mouth that is mixed with your saliva and needs to be swallowed

Common culprits leading to choking

1. Did you put

that in your mouth?

Most everyone knows that you need to cut round foods like carrots, grapes and hot dogs into appropriately sized pieces before feeding them to young children. Why? These foods can potentially block their small airways as they are the same size.  


Foods can also block off your airway. Food pieces that are especially large, slippery, particulate, dry or hard can pose problems for many people. Rice and corn are little culprits that you may not realize can be troublesome to swallow. Grilled calamari can be problematic for it’s slipperiness.  Dry or chewy meats can also pose a serious risk. Putting too much food into your mouth at once can also lead to choking.

2. Did you even chew that?

Before we swallow our food, we typically chew it. Think of how, when we are babies, we are given first liquids and then smooth purees to swallow until we are mature enough to chew.


Chewing is the process of breaking food down into smaller pieces and mixing it with saliva (the digestion process actually begins with our chewing as your saliva contains digestive enzymes). If food is not chewed properly, it can go down toward the food tube in chunks rather than as one cohesive unit. This can lead to bits breaking off from the main unit and travelling down the wrong pipe (the airway rather than the food tube) – causing choking.


Improper chewing can occur for many reasons. Sometimes chewing difficulties are due to a medical cause, but sometimes it can be due to not paying attention, or talking with your mouth full.

3. Boy, is it dry in here?!

Dry mouth can contribute to choking. Bits of food can get stuck on dry surfaces inside your mouth and throat and pose a choking risk when they “fall off” the surfaces they are stuck to later on. Proper lubrication is essential to all your body systems and many factors can influence the hydration status of your body. Many medications carry with them the side-effect of dry mouth. Ensure you discuss your dry mouth with your doctor and/or pharmacist to ensure that you are able to continue to enjoy meals free of choking. Click here to read more on dry mouth.

4. Some things just don’t mix, you know? 

You’ve all heard the old adage that “oil and water don’t mix”, but have you ever heard that about solids and liquids? Probably not… but some individuals have difficulty with control of different textures in their mouths (“mixed textures”). In these cases, the individual may be unable to contain the liquid part of the food in their mouth while chewing the solid part (e.g. the broth in the chicken soup). When this happens, the individual may choke on the liquid prior to beginning to swallow the other part of their mouthful.


The four choking risks described may seem simple, and to most of us, they happen rarely. If you find yourself choking more often than you used to, a visit to a Speech-Language Pathologist like me would be a good idea. There are a multitude of reasons that you may experience these problems and we will be able to help you sort through the causes and find the right treatment for your situation.


Bobi Tychynski Shimoda is a Speech-Language Pathologist with more than a decade of experience working with neurological communication and swallowing disorders. She has worked in a variety of settings including inpatient rehab, acute care, community, and private practise. She is highly skilled in assessment, and innovative treatment approaches.

90,000 What to do if you are choking and no one is around

Anyone can choke. If at the same time there are no people nearby, it can end in tragedy. Therefore, it is worth knowing how to help yourself on your own.

The main thing is not to panic and be clearly aware of what needs to be done.

Obstruction of the upper respiratory tract by a foreign body may be partial or complete.

In case of partial blockage, the victim can, albeit with difficulty, breathe, cough, speak.It is impossible to breathe fully. A characteristic gesture in this case is hands, convulsively clutching at the throat.

What to do if you choke

Try to calm down first. Panic will prevent you from focusing on self-help and will only make matters worse.

Try to cough as hard as possible: this is the main defense mechanism invented by nature. To make the cough worse, you can bend in half. In this case, the abdominal muscles will help.

Never try to suppress a cough.This will only make the situation worse.

Ksenia Vozhdalova

therapist of the mobile clinic DOC +

If there is a mirror nearby, use it: open your mouth, press your tongue down to the jaw with your fingers, pull it up and push it forward a little. This will improve your visibility. If you see a foreign body, try sliding it out of the way with your finger and then remove it.

Do not try to grab what is stuck in your throat with two fingers.So you can accidentally push it further and worsen your condition.

What to do if you choke

In this case, the person has no more than one and a half minutes to help himself. After that, most people lose consciousness and a chance for salvation.

1. Use a hard, narrow object

This can be the back of a chair (but not on casters), the edge of the tub, and so on. The main thing is to be able to pile on.

Bend over so that your upper abdomen is exactly over the hard edge of the chosen object.Relaxing your legs, lean on the object sharply. The pressure in the abdomen will be transferred through the diaphragm to the lungs. This will push the foreign body out. This method is considered the most effective in the practice of rescuers.

Georgy Budarkevich

Senior First Aid Instructor at the ProPomosh training center

2. Use the Heimlich technique

Squeeze one hand into a fist. Press it 2–3 centimeters above the navel with your thumb to your stomach. Grasp a fist with your other hand and perform five hard pressure on yourself and up.

Due to the inconvenient point of application of force and possible physical weakness due to lack of oxygen, this method is considered not very reliable. It is much more effective when the Heimlich trick is used by someone nearby.

3. Hit the floor

Get on your knees with your straight arms on the floor. Briskly remove your arms to the sides and drop your chest to the floor. The impact should increase the pressure in the lungs; a foreign body can fly out of the respiratory tract.

This method is considered more theoretical: you can try, but it is not known whether it will help.

How to eat so as not to choke

  • Bite off less, chew more thoroughly. In this case, the risk of choking is significantly reduced.
  • Do not talk while eating. “When I eat, I am deaf and dumb” is a very useful rule.
  • Keep a drink nearby: juice, milk, iced tea to drink with food.
  • And most importantly, take your time. Avoid snacking on the go: this can lead to distraction and choke on even a small bite of food.If you feel like you are in a rush, take a deep breath and continue at a more relaxed pace.

Slowly enjoying a delicious meal is a good way to keep yourself out of trouble.

Read also 🧐

ᐉ What to do if … you are choking and there is no one nearby • Low Price Pharmacy

“ANC Pharmacy” recommends. Doing the above steps could one day save your life.In a dangerous situation, the right person may not be there. And if it turns out, but panics or does not know what to do Follow the recommendations and help yourself in this situation.


The first thing to do is to stop panic, calm down and clearly follow the prescribed actions.


Important! The airway may be completely or partially blocked. If partially – the process of breathing, reactions (coughing, sneezing) are possible, but with difficulty, through effort. Completely with complete overlap – none of the above is possible.In appearance, this situation is determined by a characteristic gesture – hands, convulsively clutching at the throat.


What to do if you choked


First you need to try to get rid of a foreign object that blocked the airways, the natural reaction is to vigorously cough. To make the cough worse, you can bend in half. In this case, the rectus abdominis muscle will help. Watch a video on how to develop the rectus abdominis muscles.


Important! No attempt should be made to suppress cough.This will aggravate the situation.


If there is any reflective surface nearby (mirror, window, puddle), you can use it, controlling the performance of such actions: to improve the view, open your mouth, press your tongue to the bottom with your fingers and push the lower jaw forward. If you find an object that interferes with breathing, try to get rid of it with sliding movements of your fingers located in the mouth.


Important! Do not attempt to reach the object with two fingers – you can accidentally push the foreign matter further along the respiratory tract.


What to do if something completely blocked the airways


In this case, the person has no more than one and a half minutes to help himself. After that, most people lose consciousness and a chance for salvation.


Method 1: For support, use any rigid object for support, such as wood, chair back, sink, etc. You should bend so that the upper abdomen is exactly over the hard edge of the chosen object. Relaxing your legs, you should sharply lean on the object.The pressure in the abdomen will be transferred through the diaphragm to the lungs. This will push the foreign body out. This method is considered the most effective in the practice of rescuers.


Method 2: Place the clenched hand into a fist with the thumb to the stomach and press it just above the umbilical cord zone. Grasp your fist with your other hand and perform five sharp pressure on yourself and up. This method is more effective if it is produced by the person who is next to you, due to the uncomfortable point of application of force and possible physical weakness due to lack of oxygen.


Method 3. You need to kneel down, put your straight hands on the floor. Then you should abruptly remove your arms to the sides and fall with your chest on the floor. The impact should increase the pressure in the lungs, an object that interferes with breathing can fly out of the airways.


In theory, this method is effective, but in practice, method 1 is the most successful option.


How to eat to avoid choking


Bite off small pieces and chew them thoroughly.You should not talk and be distracted while eating. It is recommended to always put a glass of water nearby so that you can drink your food. There is no need to rush yourself while eating, it is not recommended to chew on the go. If there is a feeling that the process of eating has accelerated, you need to stop, take a deep breath and continue to eat.


Remember! Enjoying a delicious meal in peace is a good way to keep yourself out of trouble.


Remember The All-Ukrainian action – “KVITUT ZNIZHKI-TRAVIMO TSINI” continues in the “ANC Pharmacy” !

What to do if a child chokes

It is impossible to control 100% of all the baby’s actions, therefore, cases when children get something in the respiratory tract or they choke on something often happen.Most of the time, there is no need for parents to take any action, because the child’s body is able to independently get rid of a foreign object with the help of a cough. An indication that the airway is not blocked is that the child may cry and / or call for help. Then you just calm the baby and keep the situation under control.

Signs that intervention is required?

  • eyes wide open due to panic
  • he cannot utter words, cry and scream, or does so quietly and with wheezing
  • there is increased salivation
  • child opens his mouth wide
  • skin turns red and then turns blue
  • older children can hold their throats
  • loss of consciousness

The first thing that must be done is to call an ambulance.It is advisable that someone else does this so that you can immediately begin to provide first aid.

First aid for children under one year old

Typically, babies gag when eating or drinking due to improper posture.

Your Possible Action:

1. Raise the baby’s hands. Despite its uniqueness and simplicity, this method helps to normalize the breathing process by expanding the airways.

2. Put the child on his hand with his stomach down and make five pats between the shoulder blades with the edge of the palm.

3. In the case when the baby choked on a small object, it is necessary for the child’s legs so that the head is down and also pat between the shoulder blades

4. Tilting the child’s torso down, press on the root of the tongue, thereby causing vomiting.

5. If the baby choked on liquid and began to cough, choke on a cough, breathe noisily, and if a solid object gets stuck, turn it back to you, hug it with your hand while pressing it on the stomach area, tilt the baby forward and pat on the back, as described in the first paragraph.

If there is no sign of improvement, lay him on his back with his head below his torso. Place your middle and index fingers under your baby’s sternum. Make five presses to a depth of 1-2 cm, making sure that after each of them the baby’s sternum straightens without removing the fingers. You should alternate pressing and patting on the back until the doctors arrive. Check after each popping to see if the airway blockage has been cleared.

Attention! All pressing and tapping made should be light but sharp!

You can find on the Internet a recommendation to check the child’s larynx with your finger with your finger and, if possible, remove the stuck object.This advice is useful if the foreign object is something soft, such as cotton wool. In other cases, there is a great risk of aggravating the situation by accidentally moving the subject even further.

First aid for a child over one year old

Remain calm so as not to aggravate the child’s panic.

You can also use the above methods for older children. Item 5 will differ in the baby’s posture. See the picture below:

Also, for children aged from one year (in no case for children younger!) The Helmich method is effective.The sequence of your actions will be as follows:

  • stand behind the baby’s back, you can kneel if his height is still small
  • clench the hand of one hand into a fist and place it with the thumb inward between the ribs and the navel of the child
  • clasp fist with the palm of the other hand
  • spread your elbows to the sides and press on the child’s belly from the bottom up
  • perform until the foreign object leaves the respiratory tract

If the baby stops breathing

If the baby stops breathing while removing the foreign body and does not resume after removing it, it may be the result of a spasm in the throat due to stress.Respiration method:

  • lay the child on its side on a flat hard surface
  • tilt your head back a little
  • raise chin

Even you managed to solve the problem on your own, it is imperative to see a doctor to check if the baby has damaged the airways.

90,000 One in five people in the world dies prematurely due to malnutrition

  • James Gallagher
  • BBC

Photo author, Getty Images

Scientists have found that malnutrition is more risk to life than smoking – and today is the cause of one in five deaths in the world.

Salt shortens the lifespan the most, wherever it is contained – in bread, in soy sauce or in ready-made meals.

At the same time, according to the researchers, their work is not devoted to the problem of obesity, but a bad diet that harms the heart and can cause cancer.

The Global Burden of Disease research program is considered the most authoritative source for estimating the causes of death in people around the world.

This study took into account dietary habits in different countries to find out how they affect life expectancy.

A diet in which:

  • Excessive salt – 3 million deaths
  • Lack of whole grains – 3 million deaths
  • Lack of fruit – 2 million deaths

Other serious factors contributing to premature death also includes the almost complete absence in the diet of nuts, seeds, vegetables, as well as omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood, and fiber.

“We have observed that nutrition is one of the major determinants of health in the world.It matters, “Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, told the BBC.

How can food kill a person? million – the result of cardiovascular disease, which further emphasizes the danger of excessive salt intake.

Excess salt leads to high blood pressure, and this, in turn, increases the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Photo Credit, Getty Images

Photo Caption,

Salt is an integral part of many foods

Salt can also affect the heart and blood vessels directly, leading to heart failure.

Whole grains, fruits and vegetables have the opposite effect. They help the heart function and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Other diseases that also result from poor nutrition and lead to premature death include cancer and type 2 diabetes.

How is the world going with a healthy diet?

There are no ideal countries for this indicator. Different states give preference to one or another aspect of a healthy diet, but the main question is how is the situation with the observance of the rules of healthy eating in the world as a whole.

Nuts and Seeds

According to the study, the diet of most people in the world is most deficient in nuts and seeds.

Astute readers will probably remember that these foods were mentioned in a diet developed by scientists for the world’s population, which could save lives, save the planet and feed 10 billion people.

So why don’t we gnaw them every day?

“There is a perception that these are such energy-filled sachets that are easy to gain weight from. In fact, they contain healthy fats. In addition, many people simply do not consider this food a must-have element of the daily diet. products, “says Nita Forouhi, a professor at Cambridge University.

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Nuts should be regularly included in the diet

Aren’t sugar and meat the most harmful foods?

The controversy about which is worse – eating too much fat or sugar, and the link between eating red and processed meat with the emergence of cancer in recent years, has often flickered in the news.

“These are really dangerous factors, as we demonstrate in the study, but compared to not eating enough whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables, this problem is less relevant,” explains Murray.

The study also states that there is an excess consumption of carbonated drinks around the world.

Scientists believe it is time to change the focus of health promotion campaigns: not discuss the amount of fat and sugar, but focus on the benefits of healthy eating.

Delicious, but junk food

On average, poor nutrition reduces life expectancy by two years, the researchers found.

However, according to Murray, this is only an average figure, and in fact the question that everyone should ask themselves should sound like this: “Will I die at 50 from a heart attack? Is it from cancer caused by poor nutrition? ”

Are there countries where everything with a healthy diet is good?

Mediterranean countries such as France, Spain and Israel have extremely low dietary mortality.

The opposite situation has developed in the countries of Southeast, South and Central Asia.

  • Israel has the lowest death rate associated with malnutrition – 89 cases per 100 thousand people annually.
  • In Uzbekistan, this indicator is the highest – 892 deaths per 100 thousand people annually.

There is an interesting difference between the consumption of salt in Japan and China.

National Chinese cuisine abounds in dishes with soy and other sauces, which contain a huge amount of salt.

But due to the growing popularity of ready-to-eat meals, the amount of salt consumed continues to grow. The country has the highest dietary salt death rates in the world.

“Japan is interesting because 30-40 years ago there, as well as in China, they used salt in large quantities,” says Murray. “Salt remains a big problem, but its consumption has significantly decreased. At the same time, the Japanese diet is rich in food. – for example, vegetables and fruits – which protect against the onset of heart disease. “

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Soy sauce is popular in Asian countries

How are things in Britain?

Britain lags behind countries such as France, Denmark and Belgium.

The main reason is the lack of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in the diet.

According to a study, 14% of deaths in Britain are due to poor diet. This is 127 cases per 100 thousand people.

What to do?

“The quality of the diet is of great importance, regardless of the person’s weight,” said Murray.“Above all, you need to increase your intake of whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables, and reduce the amount of salt you eat.”

There is a campaign in Britain to increase the proportion of fruits and vegetables in the diet.

However, it is estimated that in poor countries such a diet would “eat” 52% of the average household income.

“People can choose healthy lifestyles if they have enough information and sufficient funds for this.But if stores sell harmful products for the “two for the price of one” promotion, then all the arguments will be useless, – warns Nita Forouhi. “Inexpensive healthy food options are urgently needed.”

Nutrition for children from 1 to 3 years old

The period from 1 to 3 years of life is a crucial stage in the transition to an adult type of nutrition, which has certain characteristics.In order to ensure that all the necessary nutrients are supplied to the child’s body and at the same time to prevent an excess of certain nutrients, nutrition must be balanced and varied.

The daily food volume for children aged 1 to 1.5 years should be 1000-1200 g, from 1.5 to 3 years – 1200-1500 g, the amount of food in one feeding should not exceed 300-350 ml. The diet consists of three main meals a day and two snacks. It is considered optimal when breakfast makes up 25% of the total energy density of the diet, lunch – 30–35%, dinner – 20%, additional meals about 10%.In general, the child can eat the same food as the rest of the family.

In the diet of a child 1–3 years of age should be present daily: animal or poultry meat, dairy and sour milk products, vegetables, fruits, bread, cereals, vegetable and butter; fish and eggs are included in the diet 2-3 times a week.

Cereals: bread – 2-3 servings a day, cereals and side dishes – 1 times a day
Fruits and / or vegetables: at least 5 times a day
Dairy products: at least 3 servings a day (including those which are used to make porridge, yoghurts, fermented milk drinks, cottage cheese, infant formula or breast milk).

Domestic pediatricians recommend, when drawing up a diet for children aged 1–3 years, to give preference to specialized children’s dairy products of industrial production that meet high quality requirements and safety indicators for a given age. Most children’s dairy products are additionally enriched with vitamins and / or minerals and other biologically active components, taking into account the physiological needs of children of this age.At the same time, in foreign recommendations, children over 1 year old are offered a gradual introduction of whole cow’s milk, which is rich in fats necessary for proper growth and development, the absorption of vitamins A and D, and the development of the child’s brain and nervous system.

Meat dishes: 2-3 times a day
Fish dishes: 2-3 servings per week
Eggs: 2-3 pieces per week
Edible fats: 3-4 tsp butter and / or vegetable oil in day

When preparing food, use a minimum amount of salt and sugar, and do not add them to industrial products.

Offer your child a variety of foods and let them choose them yourself. Children love to eat on their own, so if possible, offer food that the child can eat with their hands.

It is important to remember that the baby can choke on pieces of food, so whatever you give to the baby should be chopped or cut into small pieces that can be easily chewed.

Do not give a small child: nuts, whole grapes, cherry tomatoes (unless cut into quarters), whole carrots, seeds (such as pumpkin or sunflowers), round candy, legumes, raisins, because the child can use them choke.

Also in the diet of children of the first 3 years of life should not be present:

· Mushrooms; canned snacks, pickled vegetables and fruits
· Home-made canned food
· Dry concentrates for side dishes
· Spicy sauces, mustard, horseradish, pepper, vinegar, mayonnaise
· Natural coffee
· Juices and drinks in the form of dry concentrates; sweet carbonated drinks
· Products containing food additives (flavors, artificial colors, including chewing gum), popcorn
· Combined fats; cakes and pastries

It is important to remember that children of this age should not be given too spicy and spicy food.

Baby food nibbler | SIMA-LAND.RU

Nibbler for feeding crumbs | SIMA-LAND.RU


A life hack from the past – wrapping pieces of food for the first feeding in gauze – is no longer relevant. Now mothers are helped by a wonderful product called “nibbler”. Why it is good, we tell below.

What is nibbler

This is a complementary feeding device similar to a dummy. Consists of a handle and a perforated attachment. Pieces of food are put inside it, tightly closed and given to the baby. And he crumples with his gums or first teeth and gets food through the holes – without the risk of choking on large pieces.

What is good about nibbler

  • Helps you learn to chew. After the nibbler, it will be easier for the child to start eating solid foods.
  • Serves as a teether. The little one will like to massage the gums about him. And when the teeth begin to cut and cause discomfort to the baby, you can put ice or frozen milk mixture in the nibbler – and the pain will decrease.
  • Frees up a couple of minutes for mom. While the child is fiddling with the nibbler, you can, for example, wash the dishes.
  • Helps to feed the baby while walking. The child does not have to take food with unwashed hands.

What foods to give your baby

Another advantage of the nibbler is that it allows the little one to get acquainted with new tastes.

From 5 months, start giving your child pieces of boiled vegetables (carrots, broccoli, pumpkin, potatoes) and fruits (apples, bananas, plums), as well as baby cookies, bread. At 7 months, you can try to introduce boiled meat with bread into the diet.

When you let your baby try something new, make sure that he does not develop allergies.

Wash the nibbler after each use.

Watch the baby so that he does not disassemble the nibbler or choke on saliva.

Which nibbler to choose

Nozzle material. Available in silicone or with textile mesh. The first ones are more popular with babies – they are soft and pleasant for the gums. Plus silicone doesn’t change color from products and is easier to wash. The nozzle with a mesh is more convenient for parents: these niblers contain more food. We advise you to take both those and others, so as not to miscalculate.

Size and holder. A small model 10–12 cm long with a round holder is suitable for a 5 month old baby.For older crumbs, a larger version is needed – about 20 cm, with an oblong handle.

Use the nibbler only up to 8-9 months. If an older baby continues to eat through this device, he will be lazy to chew food when you give it without a nibbler, and may choke.

Safe and colorful niblers await you in a dedicated section.

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How to save the life of a person who choked / AdMe

Not everyone knows how to react correctly if a person sitting next to him suddenly chokes and begins to choke.And how to behave if this happened to you and there is no one nearby to help?

Bright Side prepared a detailed guide for you that will help you not to get confused, act competently and save the life of a person who choked.

If you choke, you need to cough

Right. Coughing is the most effective way to clear the airways and push food out of the trachea. The best thing you can do in a situation like this is to try to calm the person down: “It’s okay, cough.”

Wrong. Some people in this situation try to suppress their cough by straightening their back and trying to breathe through their nose. This will not lead to anything good. Also, do not drink water during an attack. Give the victim a glass of water after they have cleared their throat.

If you can’t cough, tap on your back

Correct. When a person cannot cough, the first thing to do is to tilt him forward downward (you can use the knee or the back of the chair) and pat the open palm strongly between the shoulder blades (towards the mouth).It is important to do the guiding movements, and not the usual claps.

Wrong. You cannot clap in a straightened position, especially hit with a fist, otherwise the piece of food will fall further and tightly block the airways. If coughing continues, stop clapping.

If the person cannot breathe, use the Heimlich technique

When performing the Heimlich technique, air is released from the lungs, which is not used for breathing, which helps to push out the stuck object.

Correct. Stand behind the victim and wrap your arms around him. Make a fist with one hand and place it on your stomach between your navel and your lower ribs. The palm of the second hand is on top. With a quick push, pull your fist upward (under the diaphragm) several times. Repeat several times until the airway is clear.

Wrong. Do not slap the victim on the back – this can only worsen the situation. You need to grip below the ribs, and not along them, otherwise you risk breaking them.If the panting person is bigger than you or it is a pregnant woman, clasp over the belly, in the area of ​​the lower ribs.

The supplicant lost consciousness

Correct. If the person has lost consciousness, put him on his back. Sit on top of the victim’s thighs, facing the head. With one hand on top of the other, place the base of your palm between your navel and your lower ribs. Press firmly on your abdomen upward toward your diaphragm. Repeat several times until the airway is clear.After removing the object, if the person is not breathing, give artificial respiration.

Wrong. Do not hold the victim in an upright position. And even more so give him artificial respiration until the object is removed from the trachea.

If there is no one to help (self-help)

If you yourself choked and began to choke, apply the Heimlich method yourself.

Correct. Lean on a firmly standing object (table corner, chair, handrail) and push upwards using your body weight.

Wrong. This is difficult, but try not to panic. The more we panic, the more air we catch in our mouths. This pushes the piece of food further. Don’t straighten up or pound yourself on your chest or back.

How to act in other situations

The victim is bigger than you. It happens that the choking person is many times larger than you, or it is a pregnant woman. In this case, when performing the Heimlich technique, you need to grip in the area of ​​the lower ribs, as close to the stomach as possible.

Infant choked. Put the child on his tummy on his hand and with the edge of the palm, make 5 pats between the child’s shoulder blades. If a solid foreign object gets stuck, place the child face down on the arm. In this case, the head should be lower than the chest. We slap the child between the shoulder blades with our free hand.

A child older than a year choked. We stand behind the child (if his height is small, we kneel).