No parents would want to be in a situation where they need to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on their toddler or infant. However, it is crucial to be familiar with the steps, so you can help in case of a cardiac or breathing emergency. Performing infant & child CPR on time can help maintain the blood and oxygen flow, and save the infant or the child from grave danger. Keep reading as we share the step-by-step process of performing CPR on infants and children.
Things to do before performing Infant or Child CPR
- Assess the safety in that situation, establish a first impression, and get the parent or guardian’s permission.
- Use the tap-shout-tap technique and check the toddler or newborn for responsiveness if they seem unresponsive.
- Call the baby or the child by its name, if you know it, to catch their attention. Check for breathing, life-threatening bleeding, or any other life-threatening condition, and tap the child’s shoulder again if they do not answer. In the case of an infant, tap the bottom of the infant’s foot and shout again if they do not reply.
- Do not wait for longer than 10 seconds.
- Call 9-1-1 and gather AED equipment or direct someone to do so in case the infant or child is not breathing or is only gasping and not responding.
In the next section, you can read about how to perform child & baby CPR.
About Infant CPR (ages 0-1)
There are significant distinctions between conducting CPR on a baby and performing it on a child or an adult. Naturally, babies are significantly smaller than fully-grown adults, therefore, you must modify your method to fit a small frame. Here are the steps for giving CPR to a baby:
- Verify the Infant’s Reactivity: Loudly call their name, tap them on the shoulder, then repeat Proceed if the infant does not answer after 10 seconds.
- Dial a Helpline: As quickly as you can, or have someone dial 911.
- Placing the Infant: Make the infant lie on a firm, level surface, and then stand or squat close to them.
- Place Your Hands in Position and Start Compressing: Push down firmly. The compression depth for infants is about 1.5 inches. Push with both of your thumbs (or two fingers) placed side by side in the center of the infant’s chest, right below the nipple line. Perform 30 non-stop chest compressions.
- Give two rescue breaths: To clear the baby’s airway, start by lifting their chin by employing a head tilt/chin lift technique and try to achieve a “neutral” position. Give the infant one second of your breath. Add another breath and repeat.
- Continue the Cycle: 30 chest compressions followed by 2 breaths should be repeated one more time. Perform all the steps till the infant responds or the aid arrives – whichever happens first.
About Child CPR (ages 1-8)
To remember what to do in a stressful circumstance, don’t forget the three Cs: Check, Call, and Care.
- Check on the child to see whether they’re unresponsive and look around you to make sure everything is secure.
- Call 911 to have emergency assistance sent to the area.
- Care through CPR should be given.
Here’s how to give CPR to a child:
- Position the child appropriately: Place the child on their back on a leveled, hard surface.
- Put your hands on the chest: Use the heel of one hand when administering CPR to a small child. Older children have bigger chests, and 2-hand CPR can be performed. For children closer to the age of 8 years, use two hands – one on top of the other with the fingers interlaced.
- Apply chest compressions: The general recommendation is 30 consecutive chest compressions. Place a hand (or hands) in the middle of the child’s chest and quickly and forcefully press down. Pushing the chest down at a rate of 100–120 times per minute at the depth of 1.5 inches.
- Breathe in rescue air: Directly into the child’s mouth, administer two rescue breaths. Keep a gap of 1-2 seconds between each breath. To ensure that air enters the child’s airway, you might need to tilt their head. Keep an eye out for a chest elevation with each inhalation.
- Repeat: The hardest part is that you must keep going. 30 more chest compressions, then two rescue breaths, should be given. The process should be repeated until the child responds or medical help arrives.
Get access to American CPR Care Association’s pediatric CPR study guide by enrolling in our online CPR course where you’ll learn adult, infant & child CPR. Call on our helpline number 1-888-808-9109 and contact us for more details.