The survey of 2,009 adults (including 572 parents), from the British Red Cross, found that 20% of mums and dads have never learned first aid and a third of parents of babies under two have never been on a first aid course.
Just 24% of parents surveyed felt they had the skills and confidence to help if a baby was choking.
“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,” said Joe Mulligan, head of first aid at British Red Cross.
“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.”
Mulligan added: “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 the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), commented: “It is a good idea for all new or expectant parents to learn basic first aid skills, so 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.”
Watch the video above to see a demonstration of how to save a choking baby.
British Red Cross advice on helping a choking baby:
1. Give up to five back blows. Hold the baby’s face down along your thigh with their head lower than their bottom. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades up to five times. If back blows do not dislodge the object, move on to step two.
2. Give up to five chest thrusts. Turn the baby over so they are facing upwards and place two fingers in the middle of their chest just below the nipples. Push sharply downwards up to five times.
3. Call 999 if the object does not dislodge.
Click here for more information.
Ahead of World First Aid Day (9 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.