Baby & Child Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation

Breathing life - A step by step guide to a potential life-saving technique 

Fundamental differences between adult, baby and child CPR  

How the initial CPR procedure is commenced is slightly different. With a baby or a child start with 5 initial rescue breaths prior to commencing a sequence of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths.  In an unconscious adult not breathing normally 30 chest compressions are initially performed then followed by 2 rescue breaths.

A baby is classified below 1 year old and a child is from the age of 1 to puberty. 


Remember not to put yourself in danger first  

1. Prior to commencing CPR perform a Primary Survey - D.R.A.B (Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing).  Conducting the Primary Survey minimises danger to yourself and others around you, and establishes whether the baby or child is breathing normally or not.  

2. Post the primary survey if a baby or child is found to be breathing normally conduct a Secondary Survey.


3. Once it's been established the baby or child is not breathing normally commence CPR immediately. 


Baby CPR Protocol

1. If you are alone call an ambulance using the speaker function on the mobile phone if available.


2. Start with 5 initial rescue breaths. 


- Open the baby's airway by placing one hand on their forehead and gently tilting the head back and lifting the chin.

- Remove any visible obstructions from the mouth and nose.

- With your mouth seal around the baby's nose and mouth, and gently give 5 initial rescue breaths whilst observing the rise and fall of the chest.    

- Place two fingers in the center of the baby's chest and compress by at least one-third of its depth (approximately 4 cm), 30 times aiming for a compression rate of 100-120 per minute. 

3. Leave the baby if no mobile phone is available or send a bystander to call for an ambulance. 

4. Continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions with 2 rescue breaths until medical help arrives or the baby shows signs of normal breathing.  If you feel fatigued enough unable to continue then ask the bystander to take over.


Child CPR Protocol

The child CPR protocols are similar to a baby starting with 5 initial rescue breaths once an open airway is established. The main differences between the protocols are:


1. Achieving a compression depth of 5 centimeters.  

2. Placing the heel of one hand (two hands can be used for compressions), at the center of the chest.