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How To Perform Child CPR

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Knowing how to perform child CPR is crucial in emergencies, especially for parents, caregivers, and anyone who works with children. In cardiac arrest or choking cases, prompt and effective CPR can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why obtaining a childcare first aid certification that includes CPR training is essential for anyone responsible for the safety and well-being of children.

This article will discover the basics of a childcare first aid course that will prepare you for emergencies involving children.

Understanding the Basics of Child CPR

Child CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) is a life-saving procedure involving chest compressions and rescue breaths on a child who has stopped breathing or has a heart that has stopped beating. In certain emergencies, CPR can help restore blood flow and oxygen to the brain, allowing the child to survive until emergency services arrive.

Why is CPR Necessary for Certain Emergency Situations?

In emergencies, such as drowning, choking, or cardiac arrest, the brain is deprived of oxygen, leading to irreversible brain damage or death. CPR can help maintain blood flow and oxygen to the brain, increasing the child’s chances of survival.

Differences Between Child and Adult CPR

Child and adult CPR differ in several ways. One significant difference is the technique used to perform chest compressions. In child CPR, the rescuer uses one hand to perform chest compressions on a child aged between one and eight years. The compression depth and rate are also different, with compressions being shallower and faster than adult CPR. Additionally, the rescue breaths given in child CPR are less forceful than adult CPR.

Importance of Calling for Emergency Services

While CPR is essential in certain emergencies, calling for emergency services as soon as possible is equally crucial. Quick action can significantly affect a child’s chances of survival. Emergency services can provide additional medical interventions and transport the child to a hospital, where they can receive further care. If you are not trained in CPR or are unsure how to perform it, calling for emergency services is the best course of action.

A Step-by-step Guide on Performing Child CPR

Performing Child CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) can be daunting, but knowing the steps involved in this life-saving procedure is essential. Child CPR involves a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Check for Safety and Responsiveness: Before beginning CPR, ensure the child is safe and away from hazards. you should tap the child on the shoulder and ask, “Are you all right?” If the child is not responding you should initiate CPR.

Step 2: Call for Help: Call emergency services or ask someone nearby to call while you begin CPR. If alone, perform CPR for two minutes before calling emergency services.

Step 3: Open the Airway: Tilt the child’s head back slightly and lift the chin to open the airway. If there are any visible obstructions in the mouth or throat, remove them with your fingers. Be careful not to push obstructions further down the throat, worsening the situation.

Step 4: Check for Breathing: Place your ear close to the child’s mouth and nose and listen for breathing. Observe the chest to fluctuations. Start CPR if the child is not responding or breathing.

Step 5: Perform Chest Compressions: With the child lying on a firm surface, place the heel of one hand on the centre of the child’s chest, just below the nipple line. Use your other hand to interlock your fingers and press down firmly, compressing the chest by about one-third of its depth. Release the pressure and allow the chest to return to its normal position before beginning the next compression. 100 to 120 compressions per minute should be the target rate.

Step 6: Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: After 30 compressions:

  1. Give two rescue breaths by tilting the child’s head back slightly and covering their mouth and nose with your mouth.
  2. Blow air into the child’s lungs, watching for the chest to rise with each breath.
  3. If the chest does not rise, check the airway and try again.

Step 7: Continue CPR. Continue performing CPR until the child begins to breathe independently or emergency services arrive. If possible, switch with another person every two minutes to prevent fatigue.

Tips for Administering CPR Effectively

Administering CPR effectively requires proper technique and timing. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Maintain the correct compression rate and depth between 100 and 120 compressions per minute and about one-third of the chest’s depth.
  • Keep your elbows straight and use your body weight to push down on the chest, not just your arms.
  • Count out loud or use a metronome to maintain the correct compression rate.
  • Avoid excessive interruptions during CPR to maintain blood flow and oxygenation.
  • Be careful not to tilt the head too far back, obstructing the airway.
  • If you are administering rescue breaths, ensure the child’s nose is pinched, and their head is tilted far enough to create a seal around their mouth.

Recognizing Signs of Improvement or Deterioration

During CPR, monitoring the child’s condition for signs of improvement or deterioration is essential. Signs of improvement may include spontaneous breathing, coughing, or movement. If you notice these signs, continue to monitor the child and be prepared to stop CPR if breathing returns.

On the other hand, signs of deterioration may include worsening the child’s color or responsiveness or a lack of response to CPR after several minutes. If you notice these signs, continue performing CPR and call emergency services if you have not already done so.


Learning child CPR and obtaining a childcare first aid certification is crucial for anyone caring for children. It equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge to handle emergencies that may arise while caring for children. A childcare or first aid course is highly recommended if you’re a parent, babysitter, or work in a daycare. It can make all the difference in saving a child’s life in a critical situation. 

So, if you’re interested in learning more about childcare first aid and taking a course, research and find a reputable organization that offers certification. Take action and make a difference in the lives of the children you care for.