Three out of four parents in the UK would not be able to save their baby from choking

Posted On: 
8th September 2017

New research by British Red Cross shows that three out of four parents in the UK would not be able to save their baby from choking, with only 24% having both the skills and the confidence to help. 

  • Majority of parents would not be able to save their baby from choking  
  • Many parents have never learnt first aid, and don’t have the knowledge or confidence to help their baby in an emergency.
  • Ahead of World First Aid Day on Saturday 9th September, British Red Cross are calling on all parents to learn how to help a choking baby or child 

Choking is a risk for babies and young children, with small everyday items like sweets, grapes and coins some of the common hazards.

The survey of parents across the UK also found that 20% of mums and dads have never learnt first aid through any means, with a third of parents of babies under 2 having never been on a first aid course.

Joe Mulligan, head of first aid at British Red Cross said:

“Babies can be very curious and love to explore their surroundings by putting things in their mouths, especially when they’re teething. No parent wants to be in the situation where their baby is choking and they don’t know what to do, but helping is easy when you know how.

“If every parent in the UK knew just a few simple first aid skills, they could be empowered to deal with the everyday injuries and illnesses that their baby may face.

“Ultimately the Red Cross would like everyone to have the opportunity to learn first aid throughout their lives, starting at school, so that a generation of people can be equipped with the skills they need to help in an emergency.”

Sarah McMullen, Head of Knowledge at NCT said:

“It is a good idea for all new or expectant parents to learn basic first aid skills, so that they feel confident and equipped to deal with an emergency situation with their baby, should one occur. One of the major anxieties for parents is their child choking, but by learning a few simple techniques they will have the reassurance that if it did happen they would know what to do calmly and assertively.” 

Ahead of World First Aid Day (Saturday 9th September), the British Red Cross is calling on all parents to visit worldfirstaidday.co.uk to learn how to help a choking baby or child and share these skills with family and friends.

To book a first aid for baby and child course go to redcrossfirstaidtraining.co.uk

To download the free British Red Cross Baby and Child First Aid app, please visit redcross.org.uk/babyandchildapp or find it on iTunes AppStore or the Google Play store.