While nothing takes the place of taking a CPR class and learning techniques from professionals, everyone should at least know the basic process of how CPR works, especially if you are a parent and have small children. You never know when your child will accidentally choke on something, whether it is dinner or a random piece of plastic lying around on the floor that your baby found and tried to turn into a snack and may lose consciousness.
As soon as you notice an infant is not responsive you should immediately have someone else nearby call 911 while you attempt to assist the child, or quickly call 911 yourself.
First, find out if the child is conscious by tapping the bottom of his food or the palms of his hands. If you do not get a response from the child, do not move the child yourself. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive. In the meantime, open the child’s mouth to see if he is breathing normally. Do this by tipping the child’s head gently back and putting your ear near his nose and mouth to listen for breathing while watching the child’s chest to see if it is rising and falling with breaths.
If the child is breathing, this is a great sign and you should put him into the recovery position and keep a close eye on his vital signs (breathing, heart beating) until help arrives.
The recovery position for a child is to hold the child in your arms with the head slightly lower than the rest of his body. This will prevent him from choking on vomit or any other fluids which may drain out of his mouth.
If he isn’t breathing you need to immediately start CPR to get oxygen back into the child before he becomes critical and may die. CPR on infants is very similar to that performed on adults.
Tilt the infant’s head slightly back and lift his chin. This will help to keep the airway open. Use your fingers to pick out any debris that may be in his mouth to prevent it from obstructing the airway as you’re trying to administer CPR.
Take a breath in and form an airtight seal between you and the baby by placing your lips firmly around the baby’s mouth and nose at the same time. Blow firmly into the baby for one second until you see his chest start to rise. Remove your mouth from the baby and see if his chest falls as the air escapes. These are called rescue breaths.
Do this five times before starting any chest compressions.
To do chest compressions you will use your index and middle fingers. Remember that you will not apply as much pressure to the infant as you would to an adult because a baby is very fragile and you can easily break the baby’s ribs by applying too much pressure here.
Place your fingers in the middle of the baby’s chest and press down gently. You should press down about 30 times in total at a rate of 100 per minute.
After doing the chest compressions, give two more rescue breaths into the baby. If the baby doesn’t start breathing on his own by this time, continue alternating the rescue breathing and chest compressions until medical help arrives.
Always remember to remain calm when administering infant CPR to ensure you don’t overlook when the tiny lungs start breathing on their own again or so you don’t use too much pressure while administering chest compressions.