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Differences between Gagging and Choking

The number one concern of parents and caregivers who are going through weaning with their babies is choking. However, choking often gets confused with gagging, and overreaction to a baby’s healthy gagging may scare the child as he/she can sense the adult’s emotions and develop negative feelings towards eating.

Gagging

Choking

What happens to cause the reactionSolid food touches the part of the baby’s tongue/early portion of the throat which triggers the gag reflexSolid food is lodged in between the baby’s airways and blocking it
Why the reaction happensGagging is the way the baby’s body prevents him/herself from chokingThe baby’s body is unable to breathe
Key signs of reactionMakes gagging noises and thrusts tongue forward;

Spluttering or coughing;

Face gets pink or red

Unable to make much noise;

 

Attempts to cough;

Face turns white or blue;

Baby may faint

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