Infant CPR

There is no substitute for proper training. However, emergencies wait for no one. Use these steps to provide CPR to babies under 1 year old.

  • Stay Safe
    Children may be infected with contagious diseases. If you are concerned about possible exposure to contagious disease, practice universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment, if available.
  • Try to wake the infant
    Really little babies respond well having the soles of their feet rubbed or tapped. For infants more than 2 months old, tap their shoulder or chest. In either case, call out his name in a loud voice. Don't hurt the baby but be aggressive; you're trying to wake him up. If the infant does not wake up, have someone call 911 immediately. If no one else is available to call 911, continue to step 3 and do CPR for about 2 minutes before calling 911.
  • Open the airway and check for breathing
    Put the baby on a flat, hard surface like a table or the floor. Tilt the infant's head back a little to open the airway. Put an ear to the baby's mouth and listen for breathing sounds. While listening, watch the chest to see if it's rising and falling. If you don't see or hear any signs of breathing, go to step 4 immediately.
    If the baby is breathing, then call 911 immediately if no one else has already done it. If the baby vomits, turn the him to the side to keep him from choking on the vomit. If the baby stops breathing, go to step 4.
  • Give the baby two breaths
    If the baby is not breathing, give him two breaths. Cover the baby's entire mouth and nose with your mouth and gently blow until you see his or her chest rise. Let the air escape -- the chest will go back down -- and give one more breath.
    If no air goes in when you try to blow, adjust the baby's head and try again. If that doesn't work, then go to step 5.
  • Begin chest compressions
    Put two fingers on the breastbone directly between the baby's nipples. Push straight down about an inch and then let the chest all the way back up. Do that 30 times, about twice per second.
    After 30 pushes on the chest, give the baby two more rescue breaths (as described in step 4). Keep going -- 30 chest compressions followed by 2 breaths -- for about two minutes. If you still haven't called 911 yet, do it now. Keep doing 30 chest compressions followed by 2 breaths until the baby starts breathing on his own, or until help arrives.

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