Performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a small child

Posted: August 22, 2022


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an example of a lifesaving technique carried out in situations when an individual’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped usually described by lack of blood flow. A baby might need immediate CPR after suffocation, choking and drowning. Severe brain damage might occur if a baby goes for four minutes without oxygen. Death as a further consequence can occur four to six minutes later if the child does not receive CPR. CPR usually involves three procedures: performing chest compressions on the baby, opening the small child’s airway and looking or listening for signs of breathing (U.S National Library of Medicine, 1).

List of materials and conditions needed

If the baby seems to have an obstruction on the airway, perform first aid choking procedures as CPR may actually cause affect the blood flow of the child.

This procedure entire involves the use of hands and an individual’s awareness so as to perform all the required steps correctly. If the individual performing the procedure is alone, he or she should have someone assist in calling 911 in case the child does not respond to CPR. This should be done after two minutes or five cycles of CPR with the small child not showing any positive responses.

Steps to be undertaken

  1. Check for signs of alertness from the baby. This is done by either shaking or tapping the baby to see if he or she makes a noise or moves.
  2. If there is no response from the baby, shout for immediate help and tell someone to dial 911 as you prepare to perform CPR.
  3. Place the baby on his or her back on a flat surface, preferably a smooth flat surface. In cases where there is suspicion of spinal injury, two individuals should move the baby to a flat surface to prevent damage to the head and neck.
  4. Carry out chest compressions to restore the circulation of blood.
    1. Assume a horizontal line between the nipples of the child and place two fingers of one hand on the breastbone; this should be the center of the chest.
    2. Place your other hand on the baby’s forehead ensuring the head is tilted back.
    3. Gently press down or compress on the baby’s chest about a third or a half to the depth of the child’s chest.
    4. Carry out thirty quick chest compressions without stopping; allowing the chest to rise completely after each interval.
  5. Open the baby’s airway by gently lifting the child’s chin with one hand and tilting the child’s head by pushing down on the forehead at the same time; with the other hand.
  6. Check for signs of breathing by placing your ear near the baby’s mouth as well as the nose. Watch out for any chest motions and listen for any sounds of breathing. Feel for the child’s breath on your cheek as well as the ear.
  7. In case the child is not breathing: cover the mouth of the child tightly with your mouth, pinch the nose to close it, ensure the chin and the baby’s head stay lifted; and give two rescue breaths that should each last a second.
  8. Watch to see if the child’s chest rises after each rescue breath. If not carry out the head-tilt and chin-lift procedure or maneuver before giving the second one.
  9. Carry out thirty chest compressions that are followed by two rescue breaths for a period of two minutes.
  10. If the small child does not respond positively after the two minutes, call for help and repeat the chest compressions and rescue breaths until the help arrives.


If the above procedures are carried out successfully, the child should be able to move or will cough and in most cases resume normal breathing patterns.

Handle the baby with care as you check if he or she has a spinal injury. Do not move the head or the neck unnecessarily when suspecting injury to the spine (U.S National Library of Medicine, 1). Additionally do not press on the soft tissues under the chin as this might damage the child’s airway.