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What is the difference between Gagging and Choking?

Kids With Baby Dummy

One of the biggest fears is to lose one’s baby to choking. Sadly, choking is the third leading cause of infant death. There is a thin line between gagging and choking and understanding this could be the hack to saving your child today. Enroll for the Health Care Provider CPR today and learn more lifesaving procedures in case a child or any other person around you needs first aid and CPR. Discover what differentiates gagging from choking and how to administer help in a choking scenario.

Numerous lives have been lost as a result of delayed first aid or medical assistance. Delayed assistance consequentially is caused by the lack of skills to save lives and contain a situation. For this reason, you are encouraged to enroll for health care provider CPR to become certified in first aid. Take a chance today and be of help not just to your baby but the community at large.


Gagging is similar to stumbling when practicing to walk only that it applies to wean in babies. It is, in fact, a natural safety mechanism to prevent babies from choking when adjusting to solid meals in their diets. It involves bringing swallowed food back into the mouth, chewing it once again, and then swallowing in small bits. Gagging signs involve watery eyes, vomiting, and tongue hanging outside. This could be caused by food overload or dislike for the food taste. It may be noisy and look frustrating but nothing compared to choking.


Choking is often a result of the blockage in the airway causing suffocation. In babies, this may be caused by the entry of food into the trachea instead of the esophagus. The reflex action in this situation involves the casualty choking to force the logged object out. Coughing is, however, possible if the trachea is not fully covered. But in the case where the logged object is bigger and has covered the whole trachea, breathing or talking becomes difficult and without help, the victim could easily die. To prevent choking cases, always cut food into smaller particles for your baby and discourage older siblings from sharing their meals with babies.

First Aid and CPR

Be as calm as possible to effectively handle the situation. Observe for signs of choking which may include the inability to speak, cry, or breathe. If possible, dislodge the stuck object from their mouth or alternatively encourage coughing. Once you see the stuck food material, you can either pull it out or encourage them to swallow by pushing it way down their throat. Lay the kid facing downwards and gently hit them approximately five times on their backs. Upon each set check their mouths to see progress or movement of the object. You can also alternatively use your two fingers to push the sternum area (center of the chest) inwards and then check for results. Should the choking persist call medical help and proceed with the above processes alternating each for better results. You are also required to administer CPR to the infant if they become unconscious.