CPR can save the lives of people of all ages if you know how to do it properly. TV shows and movies often depict this life-saving procedure as a one-size-fits-all rescue plan. In reality, though, nothing could be further from the truth. There’s a different way to approach CPR for every age group.
Today, we’re going to go over how to properly perform CPR on children and babies to help you better understand why they require a separate approach than adults. Knowing these differences may one day enable you to save someone’s life.
What is CPR?
Before we can compare different methods of performing CPR, it helps to understand more about CPR in general. CPR stands for “Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation” and is defined as “an emergency procedure that combines chest compressions often with artificial ventilation.” CPR is performed to keep blood flowing through the brain and body, delivering oxygen until emergency services can arrive. CPR drastically improves the chances of survival if performed quickly and correctly.
Why are CPR methods different for children and infants?
CPR methods vary based on the age group of the person in distress. To put it simply, adults can withstand more pressure than children and infants can. Adult CPR procedures involve pushing down on the center of the chest to a depth of 2 to 2.4 inches with two hands. This is way too much pressure for a young child or infant. The ratio of chest compressions to rescue breaths also varies.
So, you have to take a gentler approach when performing CPR on children and babies but you also need to do so with urgency and confidence. Let’s talk about that.
How do you perform CPR on a child?
When it comes to performing CPR on a child, the first step is to make sure that they are considered a child. Child CPR should be performed on children aged one to puberty, around 13 or 14 years old. If the child fits into this age group, proceed as follows:
- Check to see if the child responds to verbal and gentle physical calls to attention. Tap them on the shoulder and ask “Are you okay?” If they do not respond, check for vital signs.
- Examine the child to check for signs of breathing and assess the pulse. If the child is breathing normally, do not perform CPR. Call 911 instead. If they are gasping or aren’t breathing and have no pulse, prepare to perform CPR.
- Before starting chest compressions, call 911 or have someone else on the scene do so. Remember, CPR is only effective for a short period of time. It’s also very physically demanding and is only used to buy time until emergency services arrive.
- Lay the child on their back and open the airway by lifting the chin upward slightly to open the throat.
- Quickly examine the mouth. If the child is choking and there is a loose obstruction inside, remove it. If you are unsure of your abilities or the obstruction is not loose enough or close enough to easily grab, do not attempt to do so. This could push the obstruction further into the airway, causing more damage.
- Press the heel of one hand in the center of the chest, around the nipple line. Give the child 30 chest compressions at 100-120 beats per minute. Your hand should press down 2 inches. The child CPR ratio is 30 compressions to 2 rescue breaths.
- Repeat the process until emergency services take over or until you see obvious signs of life. If the child becomes alert or starts breathing, stop performing CPR.
How do you perform CPR on an infant?
Performing CPR on an infant is similar to a child in a lot of ways but there are crucial differences that you must learn to do it properly. For CPR purposes, an infant is any child under the age of one year old. As you can see, age determines which method you’ll use.
Do all of the same steps as you would with a child, but with a few minor differences.
- Only use two fingers of one hand to give chest compressions. The pressure from even one hand is too much for a baby or infant.
- Press down 1/3 the depth of the chest instead of 2 inches. Pressing down too hard can damage the baby’s vital organs and bones. This worsens the situation and causes complications with treatment.
Where can you learn child and baby CPR?
Many years ago, finding a CPR class that fit your schedule could be really difficult but you don’t have to worry about that anymore!
The Internet has revolutionized the way that we learn. Now, you can get certified in CPR for people of all ages without ever leaving your home. ProCPR from ProTrainings offers several CPR classes to fit your schedule and your budget. Basic CPR courses cost $39.95, and you only have to pay if you pass!
All ProCPR courses follow the latest ECC/ILCOR and American Heart Association guidelines. This means that your CPR certification is acceptable for the workplace. Healthcare providers and childcare providers can use these classes just as effectively as the average person can, performing any required hands-on demonstrations in a blended class or via web conference. Get CPR certified today – you have nothing to lose, but someone else might if you can’t be the hero that they need.