Gagging versus choking

Abstracted from: http://blog.asha.org/2014/02/04/baby-led-weaning-a-developmental-perspective/
Baby led weaning (blw) introduces chip-size foods (rather than purees or mashed foods) so that baby learns to chew first and then spit out if unable to swallow, noting that with purees on a spoon, babies learn to swallow first and then chew.
BLW encourages parents to become comfortable with gagging episodes and understand the difference between gagging and choking. 
Gagging versus choking are two different experiences. 
Gagging is nature’s way of protecting the airway, where true choking occurs. Choking happens when food (or other substances) obstruct the airway and thus, often has no sound or intermittent, odd sounds. Other signs of choking include but are not limited to: gasping for breath, turning blue around the lips and beneath the eyes and/or staring with an open mouth while drooling.
Gagging is an uncomfortable sensation where the soft palate suddenly elevates, the jaw thrusts forward and down, and the back of the tongue lifts up and forward. It is not unusual for a child to vomit after gagging. In between the gags, the child is still able to breathe, cry and make vocal noises. The occasional gag is an important built-in safety mechanism, but frequent gags and/or vomiting can lead to an aversion to food.

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