child on ground needs CPR

Child CPR. What, Why and How?

We hope that you never have to use CPR on a child. If you do, these CPR skills could be fundamental for you. This short blog will cover the what’s, whys and how’s of Paediatric CPR.

This article teaches you the skills for paediatric CPR up to the age of around 8 years of age. 

What is paediatric CPR?

Paediatric CPR is more or less the same as adult CPR. It is a skill needed for children who are unconscious and not breathing normally.

Why do you do CPR?

cpr on a child

You will undertake Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for a number of reasons: 

1. You help continue to push oxygenated blood around the person’s body. We need to keep their vital organs (like their brain) with oxygenated bloodflow. 

2. You need to maintain some sort of electrical activity in the heart. This activity will allow a defibrillator to be used. 

3. You are taking over the function of the lungs. To do this you are providing oxygen into the sytem. You are keeping tissue alive for longer periods of time. 

How do you do CPR on a child? 

Paediatric CPR differs from adult CPR. The likelihood of there being a cardiac problem is small when dealing with children. Most of the time you will be looking at a respiratory issue.

COVID-19 means that you are being advised to check for signs of life from a distance. After you have checked and are fairly certain that the child you are dealing with is symptom free, you can continue as below. If you are not, follow guidance stated here from the Resus Council. 

Here’s a good anagram to remember: 

Danger – check for danger, is there risk to you as someone coming to help? 

Response – check for “normal” breathing. 

Shout for help – dial 999, shout for a bystander to help you.

Airway – Open the airway using a “head-tilt, chin-lift” method

Breathing –  Check for breathing. Listen and feel for breath on your cheek.

CPR – Undertake CPR if no normal breathing is found

This is how CPR in children should be delivered: 

1. Lay the child on their back. 

2. Deliver 5 initial rescue breaths. Your initial 5 breaths may be all you need. 

3. Begin by using 1 hand and delivering 30 chest compressions. At a depth of around 1/3 of the chest size. 

4. After 30 chest compressions, deliver 2 rescue breaths. 

5. Do another 30 compressions and 2 breaths. Keep up this cycle until the you see signs of life. Have someone take over from you if you can, or if you become too unwell yourself to continue. 

Here’s a video that will give you a basic understanding

If you have a defibrillator handy, send someone to fetch it. Follow the instructions as spoken to you. 

We hope this short article helps you. Whilst it is more likely that you never have to use CPR on a child, we recommend keeping your skills fresh on how to deliver this. 

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