Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety communication to encourage the public to follow established anti-choking protocols, which are step-by-step guides, approved by the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association to relieve the airway obstruction in choking victims. These protocols include abdominal thrusts (also called the “Heimlich” maneuver) for children and adults. These protocols do not include anti-choking devices.

The safety and effectiveness of over-the-counter anti-choking devices have not been established; they are not FDA approved or cleared. If you choose to use them, only use anti-choking devices after established choking protocols have failed.

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This safety communication provides:

  • Important recommendations for consumers, parents, and caregivers.
  • Recommendations for health care providers.
  • Background on the issue and the FDA’s actions to address the issue.
  • Instructions for reporting problems with anti-choking devices to the FDA.