Although we hope to never have to use it, it is important for families and caregivers of young children to know the proper way to administer Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), as it is different than Adult CPR. Whether they are eating a meal or snack or enjoying water play, caregivers never know when a child may need to have CPR administered. At Educational Playcare, we take the wellness of our children and their families very seriously, which is why Wellness is one of our Core Values and why all of our staff are CPR and First Aid certified. For families who aren’t familiar with Infant and Child CPR, below is a step-by-step guide to giving CPR to an infant or child according to the American Red Cross:
Before Giving an Infant or Child CPR:
- Check the scene and the child. Make sure the scene is safe, then tap the child on the shoulder and shout “Are you OK?” to ensure that he or she needs help. For infants, flick the bottom of the foot to elicit a response.
- If the child does not respond, ask a bystander to call 911, then administer approximately 2 minutes of care (outlined below). If you’re alone with the child or infant, administer 2 minutes of care, then call 911. If the child or infant does respond, call 911 to report any life-threatening conditions and obtain consent to give further care. Check the child from head to toe and ask questions to find out what happened.
- Open the airway. With the child lying on his or her back, tilt the head back slightly and lift the chin.
- Check for breathing. Listen carefully, for no more than 10 seconds, for sounds of breathing. (Occasional gasps aren’t breathing.) Infants typically have periodic breathing, so changes in breathing patterns are normal.
- Deliver 2 rescue breaths if the child or infant isn’t breathing. With the head tilted back slightly and the chin lifted, pinch the child’s nose shut, make a complete seal by placing your mouth over the child’s mouth and breathe into the child’s mouth twice.
For infants, use your mouth to make a complete seal over the infant’s mouth and nose, then blow in for one second to make the chest clearly rise. Now, deliver two rescue breaths.
How to Perform Infant and Child CPR:
- Kneel beside the child or baby.
- Push hard, push fast. For children, place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest, then place the heel of the other hand on top of the first hand, and lace your fingers together. Deliver 30 quick compressions that are each about 2 inches deep. For infants, use 2 fingers to deliver 30 quick compressions that are each about 1.5 inches deep.
- Give another 2 rescue breaths (see instructions above).
- Keep going. Continue these baby or child CPR steps until you see obvious signs of life, like breathing, or until an AED is ready to use, another trained responder or EMS professional is available to take over, you’re too exhausted to continue, or the scene becomes unsafe.
CPR certification classes are available near you. These classes are typically just a couple of hours long, but they can have life-long effects on people’s lives. Find a local CPR class through the American Red Cross here.