It’s a good idea for all parents, and for anyone who provides child care, to take a certifies course in infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). You can contact your local American Red Cross or American Heart Association chapter to sign up for a course.
You May need to give a baby CPR if he or she experiences the following:
- Has no pulse or heartbeat
- Has blue lips or skin
- Has difficulty breathing or stops breathing entirely
- Is unresponsive
Chances for saving your baby’s life or avoiding permanent injury increase dramatically the sooner you start CPR.
What can you do? The procedure for giving CPR to an infant is similar to the one used for adults. Loudly call out the child’s name and stroke or gently tap the child’s shoulder. Don’t shake the child.
If you are the only rescuer and CPR is needed, do CPR for two minutes – about five cycles – before calling 911 or your local emergency number. If another person is available, have that person call for help immediately while you attend to the baby.
Circulation: Restore blood circulation
- Place the baby on their back on a firm, flat surface such as a table, floor, or ground.
- Imagine a horizontal line drawn between the baby’s nipples. Place two fingers of one hand just below this line, in the center of the chest.
- Gently compress the chest about 1-1/2 inches.
- Count aloud as you pump at a rate of about 100 compressions a minute.
Airway: Clear the airway
- After 30 chest compressions, gently tip baby’s head back (head-tilt maneuver) by lifting the chin (chin-lift maneuver) with one hand and pushing down on the forehead with the other hand.
- In no more than 10 seconds, put you ear near the baby’s mouth and check for breathing: Look for chest motion, listen for breath sounds, and feel for breath on your cheek and ear.
Breathing: Breathe for the infant
- Cover the baby’s mouth and nose with your mouth.
- Prepare to give the baby two rescue breaths. Use the strength of your cheeks to deliver gentle puffs of air (instead of deep breaths from your lungs) to slowly breathe into the baby’s mouth one time, taking one second for the breath. Give a deep enough breath to cause baby’s chest to rise gently. If it does, give a second rescue breath. If the chest does not rise, repeat the head-tilt and chin-lift maneuvers and then give the second breath.
- If the baby’s chest still doesn’t rise, examine the mouth to make sure no foreign material is inside. If an object is seen, sweep it out with your finger. If the airway seems blocked, perform first aid for a choking baby.
- Give two breaths after every 30 chest compressions.
- Perform CPR for about two minutes before calling for help unless someone else can make the call while you attend to the baby.
- Continue CPR until you see signs of life or until medical personnel arrive.
Information gathered from Mayo Clinics Guide to Your Baby’s First Year