Checking to see if the baby is unconscious. Before you begin CPR on a child or adult, you will be trained to tap the victim’s shoulder or shake the victim to determine consciousness. For a baby, shaking is not advised. Instead, gently stroke the baby, or tap the soles of the feet, and watch for movement or another response.
Perform CPR before calling 000. As with small children, infants have a higher survival rate than adults when receiving immediate CPR. If you are alone, provide CPR first—and then call 000 after five CPR cycles or two minutes. If there is anyone else present, have that person call 000 while you provide CPR.
Check for a pulse. The place where you check for a pulse in infants is different than for children and adults. Instead of using the carotid artery, check for a pulse on the inside of the upper arm, where the brachial artery is found.
Provide rescue breaths. Infants have very fragile airways that become blocked easily. Tilting the head back too far can make the problem worse. The correct position for infants is called the “sniffer’s position”—which entails tilting the head back just enough to make the baby appear to be sniffing the air.
When providing rescue breaths, be very gentle. Use your cheeks rather than the full strength of your lungs to expel the air into the baby’s mouth. Because babies’ faces are so small, you can cover their entire mouth and nose rather than just their mouth when providing rescue breaths.
Provide compressions. Because they are so small, babies only require two fingers in the centre of the chest during chest compressions. Compressions for infants should only be an inch to an inch and a half deep. Frequency should be 30 compressions to two rescue breaths.
Children have higher survival rates after receiving immediate CPR than adults do—primarily because they are so resilient, but also because they are more likely to need CPR because of an airway blockage rather than a cardiac arrest. Because of this, it is especially imperative that children receive lifesaving CPR immediately—from a bystander if no medical professionals are in the immediate area. By learning child and infant CPR, you could potentially save a life.