Celebs launch first-aid campaign to save babies from choking

The Chokeables video features David Walliams, David Mitchell, Johnny Vegas and Sir John Hurt

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British actors David Walliams, David Mitchell, Johnny Vegas and Sir John Hurt have lent their famous voices to a  new video campaign giving parents first-aid tips that could save their baby from choking.

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The short clip, created for St John Ambulance, features characters called The Chokeables and stars Peep Show‘s Mitchell as a chewed-up pen lid, and Britain’s Got Talent judge Walliams as a first-aid-demonstrating princess doll.

Comedian Johnny Vegas voices a jelly baby who says: “I’m a baby that chokes babies – such a tragic irony.” And Oscar-nominated Hurt plays a cameo as a coughed-up peanut.

The tips in the video are based on new advice St John Ambulance released last year on what to do if your baby is choking – after a survey revealed that half of parents don’t know how to help a choking infant.

The new advice is to place your baby face down along your thigh and strikes his or her back. First-aid experts say this gives a baby more support than if you followed previous advice, which was to place your baby along your arm.

A survey of 1,000 parents of under-5s found that 38% had seen their child choke. But half of the parents said they did not know the correct way to help their child or how to clear an obstruction.

And nearly half said they avoided giving their child certain foods in case they choked.

“If an infant is choking,” says Clive James, training officer at St John Ambulance, “then, in the first instance, they should be laid face down along your thigh and, supported by your arm, you should give them 5 back blows between the shoulder blades with your heel of your hand.

“Check their mouth for any obstruction. If there is still a blockage, then turn the infant onto their back and give up to 5 chest thrusts: use 2 fingers, and push inwards and upwards against their breastbone.

“If the obstruction does not clear after 3 cycles of back blows and chest thrusts, call for an ambulance and continue with the cycles of blows and thrusts until help arrives.”

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