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CPR for an Infant

(757) 668-7000

(Younger than 1 year old)

CPR is the act of pushing hard and fast on the chest and giving breaths to someone whose heart has stopped pumping blood. Pushing on the chest pumps blood to the brain and heart. When your breaths make the infant’s chest rise, you know he is getting enough air. One set of CPR is 30 pushes and 2 breaths. 

An infant who “responds” moves, makes sounds, blinks or reacts in some way when you tap him and shout. An infant who does not “respond” is not breathing and does nothing when you tap him and shout. 

Automated External Defibrillator (AED): An AED has a computer that tells you if a shock is needed to make the heart work properly. The best chance of saving a person’s life is to start CPR right away and use an AED within a few minutes.  Use the AED as soon as you have it. Turn it on and follow the prompts. Use child pads or child key if available. Use adult pads if the AED does not have child pads.


  1. Make sure the scene is safe.
  2. Tap the infant on the foot and shout to see if he responds.
  3. Yell for help. If someone is available who can help you, tell him to phone 9-1-1.
  4. Place the infant on a firm, flat surface above the ground.
  5. Check breathing – No response + no breathing or only gasping = Give CPR.


  1. Move clothes out of the way.
  2. Place 2 fingers on the breastbone just below the nipple line.
  3. Push hard, push fast on the chest 30 times.
    • Push straight down on the chest about 1 ½ inches.
    • Push at a rate of at least 100 pushes a minute.
    • Let the chest come back to its normal position between pushes.


  1. Tilt the head back and lift the chin to open the infant’s airway.
  2. Keep the airway open and take a normal breath.
  3. Cover the infant’s nose and mouth with your mouth.
  4. Give 2 breaths (blow for 1 second each). Watch for the chest to rise as you give each breath.

PHONE 9-1-1 and GET AN AED:

  1. After 5 sets of CPR, stop and phone 9-1-1 if no one has called. If the infant is not injured take him with you when you phone.
  2. Get an AED if no one has brought one. If you cannot quickly locate an AED, return to the infant and continue CPR after you phone 9-1-1.

KEEP GOING:If you have an AED, turn it on and follow the prompts. If you do not have an AED, keep giving sets of 30 pushes and 2 breaths. Do not stop until the infant responds or someone with advanced skills takes over.

This information was obtained in part from the American Heart Association, "Pediatric Basic Life Support"

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 05/2012

(757) 668-7000