Infant CPR

Infant CPR

What is infant CPR and how do you perform it?

Using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on an infant is terrifying. But you never know when you may need to – so learning how to do it properly and safely is important. The steps of CPR can assist a cardiac or breathing emergency. iER can help you get your baby to an ER so that they can get professional medical assistance. 

There are classes for child CPR, but your memory may need a refresh. It helps to keep a printable step-by-step guide nearby so that you can read it multiple times. Infant CPR says CPR is a skill that everyone should know how to do, even if you have never used it. It is especially crucial for parents or caregivers. 

You may receive a CPR certificate, but it doesn’t automatically qualify you to perform CPR on any child or infant because there are different procedures. The CPR certification can be useful if it is tailored to specific age groups. 

Infant CPR: Understanding How The Heart And Lungs Work

The sole purpose of your lungs is to inhale air made of oxygen which is necessary for you to live. Your heart pumps blood into your lungs and body.


The right side of your heart pumps blood from the body into your lungs. In your lungs, your blood absorbs oxygen and goes back to the left side of your heart, which pumps throughout your entire body. 


When your body inhales the oxygen it needs for you to live, the used blood returns to your lungs with carbon dioxide.  This is known as the air you exhale.


Before Performing Infant CPR 

Parents or caregivers can learn CPR, but if you aren’t able to perform CPR at any given emergency, instead wait for a medical professional (As stated above, but very important to emphasise. The infant’s body is very fragile, and you can break a bone if you are too rough). 


If you are confident enough to perform CPR on an infant, ensure to do the following: 

Check your environment for safety

Make an initial impression

Ask the parent or guardian for consent to perform CPR with personal protective equipment (PPE).


In the event that the infant is unresponsive, check the infant for responsive signs. Shout to get the infant’s attention. Use the name of the infant if you know it. If the infant does not respond to the shouting, tap the bottom of their foot and shout again while checking if the infant is breathing, bleeding severely or losing consciousness.

The check is done no longer than 10 seconds before CPR is performed. If there is still no response or the infant is not breathing or gasping for air, call an ambulance immediately and tell someone to find any equipment to assist the infant. 


Performing Infant CPR

There are five basic steps to take if you are in an emergency situation and need to perform CPR on a child under the age of one. 

The first step is to check for responsiveness. If the infant is unresponsive, contact an emergency ambulance and move on to step two – to give 30 chest compressions.


The infant is to lay on a hard flat surface in the second step. With two fingers, find the centre of the infant’s chest. It is below an imaginary line between the nipples. Use your fingers to push down a third of the infant’s chest thickness at a rate of 100 beats per minute. 

Apparently, it is recommended to push to the beat of the song, ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees. Step three is to open the infant’s airway. Tilt the infant’s head back, but not too far and very gently. Give the infant two breaths in step four by covering the mouth and nose with your mouth, which acts as a seal. Proceed to give two gentle breaths and check if the infant’s rises. Then you can release it. 


The fifth step requires you to continue performing infant CPR until professional help arrives. The CPR keeps the infant’s blood flowing to the brain and other organs until advanced medical assistance takes over.


Signs of Life

If you see definite signs of life, continue with rescue breathing until the infant can breathe alone. Turn the infant on their side into a recovery position and call for help.

Keep checking that the normal breathing is consistent, and add in a few breaths if necessary. 

CPR continues until the infant shows any coughing, normal breathing or movement of the arms and legs. You can also continue until help arrives, but if you feel exhausted, do not continue until you catch your breath.



It is recommended that everyone does a first aid course – not just parents or caregivers. In the most unexpected time, you may need to perform CPR on an infant, and at the same time, you may save the infant’s life. 

Do not perform CPR on an infant if you are uncertain about how to do it. Rather find someone who knows how to do it or wait for an ambulance to arrive. 


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