How to Save Your Child’s Life

by Patty Onderko

How to Save Your Child’s Life

Learn CPR, the Heimlich maneuver and emergency first aid with our refresher guides

You know you need to learn (or bone up on) CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, and first aid, but because it all seems so complicated and scary you keep putting it off. Or perhaps you’ve seen CPR performed so many times on Grey’s Anatomy-type shows that you assume you know enough. Or maybe you just think (hope, pray) that you’ll never need to know.

“Parents are always amazed at the trouble kids get into,” says Monica Kleinman, M.D., clinical director of the medical/surgical intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital in Boston. “They can never believe that their child was able to reach the oven knobs or that he could climb so high on that tree while their backs were turned.” The bottom line: Accidents happen.

Plus, the tools you need to save your child’s life are really not as difficult to learn as you think. We’ve combed the research and talked to experts to find the most streamlined, intuitive, and up-to-date steps for you to follow.

Of course, a class is the best way to learn (ask your pediatrician’s office to recommend one, or look up courses at, but with a brain filled with kid-care minutiae, it’s hard to retain the information once you get home. So take the class, then post these refreshers on your fridge or somewhere you’ll see them often while you’re spreading peanut butter on bread or waiting for that bag of popcorn in the microwave. That way, they’ll be there and ready should the unthinkable happen. And so will you.

How to perform the Heimlich maneuver on your baby or child

How to perform emergency First Aid on your child

How to perform CPR on your child