How to Perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in Children

How To Do CPR in Children

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR is one practice that most parents should know. It can be a lifesaver and reduce the chances of permanent damage in case the child stops breathing. CPR combines chest compressions and rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) to great effect, and which can be used to save your child’s life.

The best method to learn the techniques of CPR would be to take an official course. Its importance cannot be understated, as it can help you save your child and others, if ever necessary. However, for everybody who cannot learn CPR officially, here are the various necessities and techniques for CPR that can come handy.

What is CPR?

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR is an emergency procedure carried out to deliver oxygen to the brain if the patient stops breathing suddenly. The procedure involves pressing down on the chest area hard (chest compressions) and delivering air to the body through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (rescue breaths). If done in the correct manner, CPR delivers air and oxygen to the brain and other vital organs, until medical help arrives or your child recovers.

In most cases, CPR is done if the child gets affected by cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest occurs as a result of some kind of injury or illness and is rarely an indication of any underlying heart disease. In most common cases, the heart stops beating if the patient has been drowning, suffocating, electrocuted, poisoned or if he is affected by any allergic reactions.

Why Your Child Might Need CPR?

Here are some of the reasons why your child might need emergency resuscitation, some of which are given here:

  1. Choking
  2. Drowning
  3. Electrical shock
  4. Excessive bleeding
  5. Head trauma or other serious injuries
  6. Lung disease
  7. Poisoning
  8. Suffocation

Which Symptoms Indicate Need of CPR in Kids?

Generally, there are a few symptoms which point towards the necessity of CPR in the situation.

  • The child is not breathing
  • The child has no pulse or no heartbeat
  • The child has passed out and is struggling to breathe

Things to Keep in Mind Before Giving Child CPR

  • The first step is to make sure that the surroundings of the child are safe and secure before starting the procedure. In the case of children, you have to tap on their shoulder and shout ‘Are you okay?’ to check if there is any response from the child. Ensure that he needs help, before proceeding with resuscitation. In the case of infants, the best way to elicit a response would be to flick the bottom of the foot and see if they respond.
  • Get professional medical help, or call for an ambulance or the paramedics. This has to be done before starting the procedure so that the professionals arrive at the time you finish your procedure. Even if the child has already responded to your shouting or flicking, you need to get the help of medical professionals to ensure that the child is alright and not prone to unconsciousness again.


  • Open the airway of the child (remove any blockage if the child is choking). Make the child lie on his back, and then lift the chin and tilt the head back slightly.
  • Check whether the child is breathing. Keep your ear close to the mouth, and check whether the child is breathing for ten seconds. The main point to note is that occasional gasps are not considered breathing; however, in the case of infants, periodic breathing is the norm and changes in breathing pattern are a normal occurrence.
  • Deliver two rescue breaths. Cover the mouth and nose (in case of infants) or just the mouth (in case of children) and breathe into the child’s mouth to make the chest rise.
  • Begin CPR, if the baby does not respond to the rescue breaths.

How Should You Perform CPR on Your Child?

Here are the child CPR steps that will show you how to give CPR to a child

  1. Kneel beside the baby, and push hard and fast on the chest. Place the heel of one hand on the centre of the chest, and the heel of the other hand on top of the heel. Lace your fingers, and begin the compressions. The ideal depth is around two inches, and thirty compressions are to be made. In case of infants, use two fingers and deliver compressions that are around 1.5 inches deep.


  1. Give two rescue breaths to the child after the compressions, to check for any signs of life. Make a seal over the mouth and the nose or just the mouth with your mouth, and blow twice into the airway to make the chest rise.
  1. If the child shows signs of life like breathing, stop CPR and wait for professional help. Otherwise, continue CPR until the child starts breathing, or trained help arrives to help you out.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is something that all parents must know, as it can be a real lifesaver for your child. If the child has been the victim of an accident or an allergy and stops breathing, you have to remember to call for professional help and then administer CPR until the child breathes on his own.

Also Read:

Epilepsy in Children
Seizures in Children

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