Performing Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in an emergency situation can save a life. However if you are attempting to perform CPR on a child, special care should be taken because if CPR is not done properly it can lead to further injury or death.
The following steps should be taken when performing CPR on young children. It is important that you carefully use these steps to provide CPR to children between 1 to 8 years old. If the child is under age 1 then infant CPR should be performed. The difference is subtle, but it could be the difference between life and death.
The first step when performing CPR on a child is to remember to stay safe. Like adults, children may also be infected with contagious or communicable diseases. Practice universal precautions including the use of protective equipment if possible. You should then attempt to wake the child by tapping on their shoulders and loudly calling out their name. Do not shake them vigorously or you can do further damage. O
nce it becomes clear the child cannot wake up on their own, instruct someone to call 911 and begin doing CPR. If no one else is present, do CPR for 2 or 3 minutes then call 911. If the child is not breathing, begin by doing chest compressions. Place one hand on the child's breast bone directly between the nipples. Gently but firmly push down about two inches then let the chest return to its normal position. Be careful not to press too hard or you can damage the child's breast bone and lungs. Do the compressions about twice per second until you have completed 30 repetitions. If you have CPR training, begin to do rescue breathing. If you have not been trained, continue with chest compressions until help arrives.
For those with CPR training rescue breathing requires checking for obstructions in the child's mouth and throat, covering the child's mouth with your own, pinching the nose closed with two fingers and gently blowing until you see the chest rise. Allow the air to escape and repeat the rescue breath. If air does not go into the child when you breathe, adjust their head and attempt another rescue breath.
If your rescue breathing still does not cause the child's chest to rise, go back to doing chest compressions. After 30 more chest compressions, attempt rescue breathing again. Continue alternating between chest compressions and rescue breathing until the emergency personnel arrive or the child wakes up. There are a number of other things you should bear in mind when you find yourself in an emergency situation in which a child may need CPR.
If you are unsure whether or not the child is breathing even after you have checked, begin CPR. Time is of the essence when a child is not breathing. Err on the side of caution. Further, use a CPR mask when giving rescue breaths if at all possible. It helps to create a proper seal. The position of the child's head during CPR is very important. If possible, quickly place a book under the shoulders of the unconscious child. This will help to keep their head tilted back in the proper position and open their windpipe. This will enable air to flow into their lungs more easily.
Author's Bio: John Perkins has been working with Onlinecprcertification.net for a number of years. Onlinecprcertification.net offers bls training classes and courses for first aid. For more info check out www.onlinecprcertification.net