How to Perform Basic CPR: Infants to Preschool-aged Children

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CPR

CPR stands for CardioPulmonary Resuscitation. It is a way to help keep someone alive whose heart is not beating effectively, or not beating at all, or someone who has stopped breathing. This is called a cardiopulmonary arrest. There are minutes in between the beginning of a catastrophic event and death. If you can do CPR, you may be able to save someone’s life. 

If a child who has had a respiratory arrest gets CPR from a bystander, the rate of survival with good functioning is greater than 70%.

Adults usually need CPR because they have had a heart attack. They need the cardiac portion of CPR more than the breathing portion. People are now being taught to do CPR by following the order CAB – Cardiac, Airway, and Breathing.

Children should be given CAB also; but with children, the breathing component is much more important (It is believed that teaching everyone to begin with cardiac compressions will help them remember what to do, should the need arise, and not have to think for a long time about the age of the person, and which to begin with: cardiac or breathing.).

It is recommended that anyone who has young children, or works with them, learn CPR and get certified. It is possible to explain the steps, but it is harder to do without some visual aids. For CPR purposes, one is classified as an infant up to a year of age, and classified as a child from one year of age until puberty.

In 2010, the American Heart Association updated all its recommendations about CPR. The following explanation follows their guidelines for bystander pediatric CPR.

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If you come across an infant or child who appears unconscious, you should make sure the area is safe for the victim and yourself before starting to do anything. You should tap the child and use his or her name if you know it, asking “Are you okay?” If a child can respond to you, is in severe distress but breathing, do not move her, but activate the emergency response system by dialing 911 or getting someone else to call. If the child is breathing and you are alone, you can leave briefly to make the call.

If the child is unresponsive, you need to see if she is breathing. If she is breathing, you do not do CPR. Children who are having trouble breathing may often find the best position to sit in; do not move a child in this situation. If the child is breathing regularly, turn her onto her side.

If he is not breathing, or taking irregular, infrequent gasps, you must begin CPR. The first step is chest compressions, compressing the breastbone. Infants and children both need 30 quick compressions. To do this:

  • Push fast – the rate should be 100 a minute.
  • Push hard – enough to depress the chest approximately 1 ½ inches in infants and 2 inches in children.
  • Let the chest rise up again after each compression.
  • If possible, do this with the child on a firm surface.

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For infants, the sternum, or breastbone, should be compressed with 2 fingers just below an imaginary line connecting the nipples. For a child, use the heel of one or two hands to depress the lower half of the breastbone 2 inches. These techniques are best learned in a class with a manikin, or at least after viewing the proper technique.

What do you think? How to Perform Basic CPR: Infants to Preschool-aged Children

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13 comments

  1. Avatar of LIZ says:

    i want to do this class very important

  2. Avatar of Lilie Lilie says:

    I took this for my CNA class got a 100% and got my card. But now I have renew it.

  3. Avatar of Marilyn Marilyn says:

    I took this in high school ^_^

  4. Avatar of MAMASEXXY MAMASEXXY says:

    I TOOK BOTH CLASSES IN MIDDLE SCHOOL IN SEX ED CLASS AND AGAIN IN HIGH SCHOOL IN PE, AND IN NEW ORLEANS AFTER I HAD MY DAUGHTER IT’S REQUIRED EVEN IF YOUR ALREADY CERTIFIED. I’M GOING TO TAKE THE CLASSES AGAIN AFTER I HAVE MY SON THIS JUNE.

  5. Avatar of MissTK MissTK says:

    I have taken both CPR and First Aid as well as Infant CPR by itself. I will stil be takign an infant CPR before she is born just to refresh. Luckily her daddy is a medic

  6. Avatar of Aimee Aimee says:

    I’d still recommend taking a class in person.

  7. I took a CPR class in college could save a life,.

  8. good to know, going to look into a course locally.

  9. Avatar of TonyHowarth TonyHowarth says:

    Very comprehensive article and good to know the >70% statistic!

    Best way I know of to find a course is through the Red Cross – certainly here in Canada you simply go to their website and there’s a ‘course location’ function – good luck with finding something, everyone should learn this & practice it!

  10. Avatar of Angelwings Angelwings says:

    what is the best way to find a class in a small town area? The local hospital isn’t very friendly when it comes to answering questions

  11. i had to take infant, toddler, and adult CPR for my job it was very helpful when you have children of your own!

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