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Being prepared and checking vital signs

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 any items blocking her airway. This could include her tongue, food, vomit or blood. If a blockage is present, use your little finger to clear it from her mouth.

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

 

Check breathing

Demonstration of the recovery position and mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing
  • If baby is breathing, place her in the recovery position (shown above), phone 000 and check her regularly for breaths and responses until the ambulance arrives.
  • If baby is NOT breathing or responding, send for help and start CPR.

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CPR

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 approximately 100 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 them into the recovery position (see image 3), however, continue to monitor breathing and be prepared to recommence CPR again at any time.

 
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  • Last Updated 24-05-2013
  • Last Reviewed 24-05-2013
  • Acknowledgements Thanks to St John Ambulance Australia for their help in developing this content. Please note: This information is not a substitute for first-aid training. St John’s recommends that everyone is trained in first aid. For more information, visit the St John Ambulance website.

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