Having to administer CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on anyone can be very frightening, but imagine a child being part of the equation. They’re smaller than adults obviously, so it can be hard to know what to do. However, if you simply have the basic knowledge of child CPR, then you should be confident in your skills and your ability to save a child from harm and permanent damage to their health and livelihood.

However, sometimes the question is asked, “How do I know whether someone is old enough to be an adult, or young enough to require child CPR? If the victim in question is showing the beginning signs of puberty, around the ages of 11-15 depending on the person. If this is the case, then begin to administer adult CPR. If the victim is young, from the ages of 1-10 or 11, then administer child CPR.

A basic summary of Child CPR

“If a child does not respond and is not breathing normally, call 911. Check for a pulse for at most 10 seconds. If the child does not have a carotid pulse, begin CPR. Perform chest compressions using one hand in the center of the chest for thirty compressions. These compressions should be performed at a depth of at least 1/3 the depth of the chest. Give two breaths, followed by 30 compressions, and repeat until the child revives, an AED is available, or advanced life support arrives.”

Child CPR Video



  1. Andrew Randazzo

    Are these AHA 2010 guidelines? For children, it’s suppose to be 2 inch compressions (same as adult). Using one hand is optional, and AHA allows for 2 hands as well. Maybe you’re using a different organization…

    1. Author
      Paul Martin

      It is actually the same, or similar, for the depth of the chest for children, according to the AHA. In this document, it mentions on page 19 under “Chest Compressions”:

      2010 (New): To achieve effective chest compressions, rescuers should compress at least one third of the anterior-posterior diameter of the chest. This corresponds to approximately 1½ inches (about 4 cm) in most infants and about 2 inches (5 cm) in most children.

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