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CPR for an Infant

(757) 668-7000

(Younger than 1 year old)


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 detect an abnormal heart rhythm that requires treatment with a shock. An AED can deliver a shock to allow the heart to resume a normal rhythm.

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

An infant 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 you are alone and do not have a phone. Give 2 minutes of CPR (5 sets of 30 compressions and 2 breaths) FIRST. Then go and call 9-1-1 and get an AED. Return to infant and continue CPR.
  • If you are alone and have a 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 infant and continue CPR.
  • 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 phone is available, put on speaker mode.
  • As soon as the AED arrives, turn on the AED and follow the prompts.


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


  1. Make sure the infant is lying on their back on a firm, flat surface.
  2. Quickly move clothes out of the way.
  3. Use 2 fingers of 1 hand to give compressions. Place them on the breastbone, just below the nipple line.
  4. Push straight down at least one third the depth of the chest or about 1.5 inches.
  5. Push at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute. Count out loud.
  6. 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. Cover the infant’s nose and mouth with your mouth.
  4. Give 2 breaths (blow out for 1 second for 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 or if you get tired. 
      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