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First Aid: CPR

CPR

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and rescue breathing are lifesaving techniques used when a person is not breathing, or his heart stops beating. No outline or list of steps will substitute for actual, hands-on training, so be sure to take a class as soon as you can, and have caregivers and family members who may watch your child do the same.

A child can lose consciousness, stop breathing, or his heart can stop beating for a variety of reasons: a near drowning incident, poisoning, suffocation, choking, or a traumatic injury or serious illness to name a few. The following steps can help save his life:

Baby Under A Year

1. Lay your baby on his back. To open his airway, tilt his head back and lift his chin. Only if you can see the object in his airway, carefully remove it; never put your fingers into his throat to fish around for an object you can’t see as you could lodge it more firmly.

2. Seal your mouth over his nose and mouth; give two slow breaths; feel to find out if his chest rises and falls.

3. Reassess. Put an ear to his mouth to listen for breathing; feel for chest movement. If there's no rising or falling, redo steps 1 and 2. If he breathes with your help, give one breath every three seconds (count "one one-thousand, two one-thousand...") until he breathes on his own or help arrives.

4. If there are still no signs of normal breathing, begin chest compressions. Place two fingers in the center of his chest, over the breastbone. Deliver five firm compressions (push hard – don’t be afraid of harming the child’s ribs) one-half to one inch deep. Follow with one breath.

5. Continue cycles of five compressions/one breath for one minute. If the baby doesn't regain consciousness, continue with rescue breathing and chest compressions until help arrives. Every minute, check for signs of normal breathing, coughing, and movement.

Child Over A Year

1. Lay him on his back. Open his airway by tilting his head back and lifting his chin. If you can see the object, remove it. If you can't see it, don't try to feel for it.

2. With his head still tilted back, seal your mouth over your child's mouth (but not his nose), then pinch his nose. Give two slow breaths.

3. Reassess. Put your ear to his mouth and listen for breathing; feel for chest movement. If he's still not breathing, repeat steps 1 and 2. If he begins to breathe with your help, give one breath every three seconds (count "one one thousand, two one thousand...") until he starts to breathe on his own or help arrives.

4. If there are still no signs of normal breathing, begin chest compressions: Place the heel of one hand in the center of his chest over the lower half of the breastbone. Deliver five fast compressions one-half to one inch deep, then one breath.

5. Continue cycles of five compressions/one breath for about one minute. If the child doesn't regain consciousness, continue with rescue breathing and chest compressions until help arrives. Every minute, check for signs of normal breathing, coughing, and movement.

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