Baby and child CPR: How to resuscitate a baby or child

Carrying out CPR on a child or baby is not a situation anyone wants to find themselves in, but if the emergency ever arises it's important you know what to do.

baby cpr, child cpr
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Carrying out CPR on a child or baby is not a situation anyone wants to find themselves in, but if the emergency ever arises it's important you know what to do.

Many of us don't know even the basics when it comes to baby CPR and first aid (opens in new tab).

The time between a child losing consciousness and help arriving is crucial. If your child stopped breathing, would you know what to do?

We certainly didn't, until we read this...

Baby CPR: How to resuscitate a baby

If your baby doesn't seem to be responding to you, check their reactions by tapping or flicking the sole of their foot. If they continue to be unresponsive you will need to start baby CPR.

1. Call 999 if the baby isn't breathing (do a minute of baby CPR first, if you're alone).

2. Tilt the baby's head back using one finger, lifting the chin so the face is flat and airways are clear.

2. Take a deep breath and place your lips around the baby's nose and mouth to create an airtight seal. Breathe into the baby's mouth until the chest rises, then remove your mouth to watch their chest fall. Repeat four times.

3. To give compressions place two fingers in the centre of their chest and press down a third of the depth, remove the pressure without taking your fingers off their chest. This is one compression, continue to do this 30 times at the speed of twice a second.

4. Repeat the steps with two puffs and 30 pumps until help arrives.

Watch St John Ambulance's latest video on how to perform baby CPR below

Child CPR: How to resuscitate a child

ABC procedure:

A for Airway

B for Breathing

C for Chest compression

Before going for help perform 1 minute of child CPR.

A: Airway

1. Initially lift their chin with two fingers as you push down on the forehead with the other to tilt head back.

2. If they're under one year old lift the chin up so the face lies flat. If the head is too far back or forward, it'll block the airway.

3. Once airway is open, listen for breathing.
READ MORE: Basic first aid for parents

B: Breathing

If there's no sign of normal breathing, start child CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) straightaway.

1. Tilt their head back, lift up their chin and pinch their nostrils together.

2. Take a fresh, deep breath and put your mouth completely over their mouth and breathe into until the chest rises.

3. Remove your mouth and allow the chest to fall. Repeat this no more than five times, checking to see if their chest rises.

4. If not, check to see if there is anything in their throat and and make sure their head is still tilted back. Move on to chest compressions in part C.

C: Chest compressions

1. Put the heel of your hand on their breast bone in the centre of their chest, being careful to keep your fingers off their ribs. Keep your arm straight and press down firmly and quickly a third of the depth of their chest at a rate of two pumps a second.

2. After you've done it 30 times, breathe into their mouth twice to get air into their lungs in the same way you did above (B).

3. Watch to see if the chest rises and falls. After the two breaths, go back to chest compressions. Repeat this so that you do 30 chest compressions to two breaths each time, until normal breathing starts.

Watch the steps in more detail in St John Ambulance's video below