FIRST AID: Do you know how to give your child CPR?

Here are some simple, but life-saving, first aid tips for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a child over the age of 1.index_12

On discovering a collapsed child, check the scene for danger and establish whether she is conscious or unconscious. Speak loudly and clearly to the child, ask ‘What has happened?’ or give a command such as ‘Open your eyes’.

Place one hand on her shoulder and tap them gently to see if there is a response. To open the child’s airway place one hand on her forehead and gently tilt their head back. As you do this the mouth will fall open. Place the fingertips of your other hand on the point of the chin and lift. Do not push on the soft tissue under the chin as this may block the airway. To check whether the child is breathing, look for chest movement, listen for sounds of breathing and feel for breath on your cheek. Do this for 5 – 10 seconds and if the child is not breathing, begin CPR.

Place one hand on the centre of the child’s chest. This is the point at which you will apply pressure

Lean over the child with your arm straight and press down vertically on the breastbone with the heel of your hand. Compression depth should be about 5cm or 1/3 – 1/2 the depth of the chest. Allow the chest to come back up completely before you give the next compression.

Give 30 steady compressions. Push hard, push fast.

Return to the child’s head, open the airway and give two rescue breaths:

ResuscitationEnsure the airway is still open by keeping one hand on their forehead and two fingers of the other hand on their chin

Pinch the soft part of the child’s nose with the finger and thumb of the hand that was on her forehead. Make sure that their nostrils are closed to prevent air from escaping. Allow her mouth to fall open

Take a deep breath in before placing your lips around the child’s mouth making sure you form an airtight seal. Blow steadily into the child’s mouth for one second; just enough for the chest to rise

Maintaining head tilt and chin lift, take your mouth off the child’s mouth and look to see the chest fall. If the chest rises visibly as you blow and falls when you lift your mouth, you have given a rescue breath. If the chest does not rise you may need to adjust the head and check for any visible obstructions from the mouth but do not sweep the mouth with your finger to look for obstructions

If you are alone, continue giving 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths for two minutes, then stop to call 911 for emergency help. If help is one the way, continue CPR until emergency help takes over; the child starts to breathe normally or you become too exhausted to continue.

If you are unable, unwilling or untrained to give rescue breaths, you can give chest compressions only

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