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August 14, 2014

Understanding CPR for Children and Infants

ChildCPRIt can be hard to imagine, but children, including infants, may require rescue by CPR. According to an American Association of Pediatrics statement on pediatric sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), "approximately 2,000 patients younger than 25 will die of SCA each year, with some studies indicating an increase in SCA."

But one size doesn’t fit all: pediatric resuscitation is done a little differently than that performed on adults.

Cardiac arrest in children is often the result of the loss of an open airway or breathing, such as in drowning, choking, or a severe breathing problem. Without oxygen, the heart weakens and slows. A child can appear to be in cardiac arrest.

Early CPR with effective rescue breaths may be the only treatment required to stimulate the heart and prevent an actual cardiac arrest from occurring. However, conditions can occur that result in ventricular fibrillation and for which defibrillation of a child or infant is warranted.

When treating a child or infant suspected of being in cardiac arrest, ensure an open airway and effective rescue breaths when doing CPR. When available, always attach an AED.

CPR for Children (ages one (1) to puberty)

Assess Child

  • If safe, tap or squeeze shoulder. Ask loudly, “Are you okay?”
  • If there is no response, have someone alert EMS and get an AED.
  • Look quickly at face and chest for normal breathing. If normal breathing is absent:

Give 30 Compressions

  • Place heel of one hand on lower half of breastbone.
  • Push hard, at least 1⁄3 the depth of the chest, or about 2 inches.
  • Push fast, at least 100 times per minute. Allow chest to fully rebound.
  • If desired use two hands, as with adults.

Give 2 Rescue Breaths

  • Tilt head; lift chin to establish airway.
  • Make chest visibly rise with each breath, but no more.
  • Take a fresh breath between breaths.

Repeat Cycles

  • Provide continuous cycles of 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths.
  • If an AED becomes available, turn it on immediately and follow the AED’s voice instructions.
  • Continue until another provider or EMS personnel takes over, the child shows signs of life, or you are too tired.

CPR for Infants

Assess Infant

  • If safe, tap foot. Shout loudly.
  • If there is no response, have someone alert EMS and get an AED.
  • Look quickly at face and chest for normal breathing. If normal breathing is absent:

Give 30 Compressions

  • Place two fingertips on breastbone just below nipple line.
  • Push hard, at least 1⁄3 depth of chest, or about 1 1⁄2 inches.
  • Push fast, at least 100 times per minute. Allow chest to fully rebound.

Give 2 Rescue Breaths

  • Tilt head; lift chin to establish airway.
  • Make chest visibly rise with each breath, but no more.
  • Take a fresh breath between breaths.

Repeat Cycles

  • Provide continuous cycles of 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths.
  • If an AED becomes available, turn it on immediately and follow the AED’s voice instructions.
  • Continue until another provider or EMS personnel takes over, the infant shows signs of life, or you are too tired.

Remember, once CPR has been started, do the best you can. A child without breathing or circulation cannot survive. Nothing you do can make the outcome worse.

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Add some full-color skills posters to your training classroom or workplace break room. Our Child/Infant set includes 4 posters: Child CPR and AED, Infant CPR and AED, Child Choking, and Infant Choking. Available now for only $5.00. Current ASHI and MEDIC First Aid instructors can login to Otis to order. Use Item Number 5206A for ASHI and 5206M for MEDIC First Aid. Not one of our instructors? No problem. Give us a call at 800.447.3177 to place your poster order.

Want to learn more about how to become certified in these lifesaving skills?  Find a MEDIC First Aid or ASHI training center in your area and sign up for a class.  You never know when an emergency will strike.

Find A Class, ASHI, MEDIC First Aid

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