By Raising Children Network
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Getting ready for CPR: checking airway

Check the airway; clear the airway; check for breathing.
  • If a child is unconscious, the first step is to check his mouth for anything blocking the airway. This could include his tongue, food, vomit or blood.

  • If you find a blockage, roll him onto his side, keeping his top leg bent. This is the recovery position. Clear blockages with your fingers, then check for breathing.

  • If you find no blockages, check for breathing and look for chest movements. Listen for breathing sounds, or feel for breath on your cheek.

 

Next CPR step: breathing

Check breathing; rescue breaths if not breathing; chest compressions if no signs of life.
  • If the child is breathing, gently roll him onto his side and into the recovery position. Phone 000 and check regularly for breathing and response until the ambulance arrives.

  • If the child is not breathing and responding, send for help. Phone 000 and start CPR: 30 chest compressions, 2 breaths.

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CPR for kids: chest compressions and rescue breaths

30 chest compressions; two steady breaths after compressions; alternate compressions and breaths.
  • Put the heels of your hands in the centre of the child’s chest. Using the heel of your hand, give 30 compressions. Each compression should depress the chest by about one third.

  • After 30 compressions, take a deep breath, seal your mouth over the child’s mouth, pinch his nose and give two steady breaths. Make sure the child’s head is tilted back to open his airway.

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

 
 
 
 
  • Last updated or reviewed 07-10-2016
  • Acknowledgements

    Thanks to St John Ambulance Australia for its help in developing this content. This article was reviewed in collaboration with the Royal Children’s Hospital Safety Centre & Emergcare: Emergency Care Education Services.

    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.