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CPR for a Child

(757) 668-7000

(Older than 1 year and has not reached puberty)


CPR: stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is made up of 2 skills:

  • Providing compressions
  • Giving breaths

When a person’s heart stops suddenly, providing CPR can improve the chances of survival.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED): stands for automated external defibrillator. It is a machine that can deliver a shock to allow the heart to work properly.

A child who is responsive: will move, speak, blink or react in some way when you tap him and ask if he is OK.

A child who is unresponsive: is not breathing and does nothing when you tap him and ask if he is OK.


When you find a child who may have had a cardiac arrest, take the following steps:

  • Make sure the scene is safe.
  • Tap and shout, “Are you okay?” to see if he/she responds.

CALL 9-1-1 and GET AN AED:

  • Yell for help.
  • If someone comes to help, tell the person to call 9-1-1 and send them to get an AED while you begin CPR. If a cell phone is available, put on speaker mode.
  • If you are alone and have a cell phone or nearby phone. Call 9-1-1, put on speaker, begin CPR. Give 2 minutes of CPR (5 sets of 30 compressions and 2 breaths). Go get an AED. Return to the child and continue CPR.
  • If you are alone and do not have a cell phone. Give 2 minutes of CPR (5 sets of 30 compressions and 2 breaths) first, then go and call 9-1-1, get an AED. Return to child and continue CPR.
  • As soon as the AED arrives, turn on the AED and follow the prompts.


  1. Turn the child onto his/her back and place him/her on a flat, hard surface.
  2. If the child is breathing, stay with the child until advanced help arrives. If the child is NOT breathing or only gasping, begin CPR and use an AED.


  1. Make sure the child is lying on their back on a firm, flat surface.
  2. Quickly move clothes out of the way.
  3. Begin CPR.
  4. Put the heel of 1 hand on the center of the chest (over the lower half of the breastbone). Use the heel of one hand for small child.
  5. Push straight down at least one third the depth of the chest or about 2 inches.
  6. Push at a rate 100 to 120 compressions per minute. Count out loud.
  7. Let the chest come back up to its normal position after each compression.


  1. Put 1 hand on forehead, and the fingers of your other hand on/under the chin.
  2. Tilt the head back and lift the chin.
  3. Pinch the nose shut. Cover the child’s mouth with your mouth.
  4. Give 2 breaths (blow for 1 second each). Watch for the chest to rise as you give each breath.


  • If an AED is brought to you, turn it on and follow the prompts.
  • If you do not have an AED, keep giving chest compressions.
  • If someone else knows CPR, you can take turns giving compressions.
    1. Kneel on opposite sides of the person and switch about every 2 minutes. 
    2. When it is the other person’s turn, check the depth, speed and technique of their compressions. 
    3. Do not stop CPR until the child responds or someone with advanced skills arrives.

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: 10/2017

(757) 668-7000