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Dealing With Emergencies - CPR

For a child 1 year of age to puberty

  • Kneel next to the child.
  • Use your fingers to locate the end of the child's breastbone, where the ribs come together.
  • Place two fingers at the tip of the breastbone.
  • Place the heel of the other hand just above your fingers (on the side closest to the child’s face).
  • Use the heel of one hand to give compressions. If you need more force for a larger child, use both hands as you would for an adult.

Positioning your arms and body for doing chest compressions:

  • Straighten your arm, lock your elbow, and center your shoulders directly over your hand.
  • Press down in a steady rhythm, using your body weight. The force from each thrust should go straight down onto the breastbone, pressing down at least one-third of the depth of the child's chest [about 2 in. (5 cm)]. Be sure to let the chest re-expand at the end of each compression.
  • Give at least 100 chest compressions a minute. Push hard and push "fast." (Fast means to push between 1 and 2 times a second.)
  • Rescue breathing is more important to do for children and babies than adults. Give 30 compressions to 2 breaths. See step 3: Rescue breaths.
  • Repeat the cycle of 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths until help arrives or the child is breathing normally.

For a baby younger than 1 year

  • Kneel or stand next to the baby after putting him or her on a flat surface.
  • Picture a line connecting the nipples, and place two fingers on the baby's breastbone just below that line.
  • Use just your two fingers to press the chest down at least one-third of the depth of the baby's chest [about 1.5 in. (4 cm)]. Be sure to let the chest re-expand at the end of each compression. See a picture of hand placement for baby CPR camera.gif.
  • Give at least 100 chest compressions a minute. Push hard and push "fast." (Fast means to push between 1 and 2 times a second.)
  • Rescue breathing is more important to do for children and babies than adults. Give 30 compressions to 2 breaths. See step 3: Rescue breaths.
  • Repeat the cycle of 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths until help arrives or the baby is breathing normally.

Step 3: Rescue breaths.

Note:

If you are not trained in CPR, it's okay to only give chest compressions. Studies have shown that CPR can work well with chest compressions alone.

Rescue breathing is more important to do for children and babies than adults.

If you are trained in CPR:

  • Give 30 compressions, then 2 rescue breaths.
  • Repeat the cycle of 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths until help arrives or the person is breathing normally.

There may be a pocket mask at a nearby first aid station or in a first aid kit. You can use the mask to give rescue breaths, but don't delay starting CPR to find one.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 27, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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