By Raising Children Network
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Getting ready for CPR: checking airway

Be prepared for emergencies; clear baby's airway and check for breathing.
  • Be prepared for emergencies by familiarising yourself with first aid procedures and keeping a list of emergency numbers in your mobile or by the phone.

  • If a baby is unconscious, check her mouth for airway blockages – for example, tongue, food, vomit or blood. If there’s a blockage, use your little finger to clear it. Place baby on her back to open her airway.

  • Check for breathing. Listen for the sound of the breath, look for movements of the chest or feel for the breath on your cheek.


Next CPR step: breathing

Demonstration of the recovery position and mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing
  • If baby is breathing, place him in the recovery position by lying him face down on your forearm. Phone 000. Check baby regularly for breaths and responses until the ambulance arrives.

  • If baby is NOT breathing or responding, send someone to call 000 and start CPR.



CPR for babies: chest compressions and rescue breaths

Demonstration of chest compressions combined with rescue breathing
  • Position two fingers in the centre of baby’s chest and give 30 compressions at a rate of about 100 compressions per minute. Each compression should depress the chest by about one third.

  • Tilt the baby’s head back very slightly with the chin lifted to bring the tongue away from the back of the throat, opening her airway. Take a breath and seal her mouth and nose with your mouth. Blow gently and steadily for about one second. Watch for the rise and fall of the chest. Take another breath and repeat the sequence.

  • Continue giving 30 compressions followed by 2 breaths until medical help arrives. If the child starts breathing and responding, turn her into the recovery position. Keep watching her breathing and be ready to start CPR again at any time.

  • Last updated or reviewed 27-09-2016
  • Acknowledgements

    Thanks to St John Ambulance Australia for its help in developing this content. Please note: This information is not a substitute for first-aid training. St John Ambulance recommends that everyone is trained in first aid. For more information, visit the St John Ambulance website.

    This article was reviewed in collaboration with the Royal Children’s Hospital Safety Centre & Emergcare: Emergency Care Education Services.