The occurrence of death among infants can down right scare a parent. The number one cause of death in infants is choking. There are a number of things that parents can do to protect their newborns and one of the best skills to learn is baby CPR. While the following is no substitute for CPR classes, it may help you in an emergency should an emergency occur before you have the time to take a CPR course, which can be done in a very short amount of time for little to no cost.
CPR for Infants: Newborns to One Year Old
Before applying CPR, make certain that the baby is in cardiac arrest. Check that their heart is not beating and that there is no breath coming from their lungs. If the baby is unresponsive, perform two minutes of CPR prior to dialing 911.
How to Perform Baby CPR
CPR for an infant is different than adult, and even school aged children, therefore the same techniques do not apply. The following guide will instruct you how to properly perform CPR for babies.
- First, shout and tap. Shout loudly to try to startle the baby into awareness and gently tap on the baby’s shoulder. If you are unable to get a response from the baby and the baby is not breathing, or breathing abnormally, position the baby on its back. Try and stay calm.
- Gently apply 30 chest compressions at a ratio of no less than 100 per minute. Position two of your fingers in the middle of the baby’s chest between the nipple line. Press down about an inch and a half or 1/3 the depth of the baby’s chest. Allow the chest to recoil between each compression.
- Open the baby’s airway. To do this you will want to use the head / tilt, lift / chin method. Be cautious not to tilt the baby’s head too far back.
- If the baby is still unresponsive, give two gentle breaths. Make a seal around the baby’s nose and mouth with your mouth and gentle exhale two breaths. Each breath should be about one second long. With each breath, the baby’s chest should rise. When the chest recoils, give the baby a second breath.
- Perform another 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths, repeating the cycle until help arrives.
Each parent, as a responsibility, should enroll in a CPR classes. There are many wonderful organizations that offer baby CPR training.
The American Heart Association: The American Heart Association offers a course called Infant CPR Anytime, which is a CPR kit that comes with instructions and a baby mannequin for parents to learn their CPR skills. The course is ideal for new mothers that cannot break away from the home to take a CPR course. This is a kit that you order online and learn from a DVD. If you prefer in-person training, the American Heart Association also offers a class locator that connects parents with classes that are local to their area. For people that are comfortable learning on their own and are not interested in certification, this is your best option.
The American Red Cross: The American Red Cross also offers courses in CPR that are available to everyone however, unlike the Heart Association’s program, this class is taken in a classroom and teaches all types of CPR, not just for infants. Upon completion you will be certified in CPR. To enroll in one of these classes use their Take a Class tool and search for classes titled Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED. This is great for people looking for certification and would like to attend an in-person course.
ProCPR: This provider of CPR certifications has an online video-based class that includes infant CPR. They offer various certifications so be sure to select their “ProCPR Course” as it is a comprehensive course that includes CPR for infants. This is a great option if you are looking for certification and prefer an online CPR certification.
Baby or Infant CPR training should be a priority for new parents as it is an important life-saving skill.