There is no substitute for proper training, however, emergencies wait for no one. Use these steps as a guideline to provide CPR to babies under 1 year old.
1. Stay safe
- Children may be infected with contagious diseases.
- If you are concerned about possible exposure to contagious disease, practice universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment, if available.
2. Try to wake the infant
- Really little babies respond well having the soles of their feet rubbed or tapped.
- For infants more than 2 months old, tap their shoulders or chest. In either case, call out his/her name in a loud voice.
- Don't hurt the baby but be aggressive; you are trying to wake him/her up.
- If the infant does not wake up, have someone call 911 immediately.
- If no one else is available to call 911 and the baby is not breathing, continue to step 3 and do CPR for about 2 minutes before calling 911.
3. Begin chest compressions
- If the baby is not breathing, put two fingers on the breastbone directly between the baby's nipples.
- Push straight down about an inch and a half, or about a third of the thickness of the baby's chest, and then let the chest rise all of the way back up.
- Do that 30 times, about twice per second.
- If you have been trained in CPR and remember how to give rescue breaths, go to step 4.
- If not, keep doing chest compressions.
4. Give the baby 2 breaths
- After pushing on the chest 30 times, cover the baby's entire mouth and nose with your mouth and gently blow until you see his/her chest rise.
- Let the air escape, the chest will go back down, and give one more breath.
- If no air goes in when you are trying to blow, adjust the baby's head and try again. If that does not work, then skip it and go back to chest compressions (step 3), you can try rescue breaths again after 30 more compressions.
- Give the baby 2 breaths.
- Don't stop until help arrives or the baby wakes up.
- When checking for breathing, if you are not sure then assume the baby is not breathing. It's much worse to assume a baby is breathing and not do anything than it is to assume he or she isn't and to start CPR.
- Put a book under the baby's shoulders, if you have time, to help keep his/her head tilted back.
- When asking someone else to call 911, make sure you tell them why they are calling. If not, they may not tell the 911 dispatcher exactly what is going on. If the dispatcher knows the baby isn't breathing or responding, the dispatcher may be able to give you instructions to help.
For more information please visit the American Heart Association website (CPR Guidelines).
The information provided is meant to be viewed in non-emergency situations. If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 immediately.