How to Perform CPR

Children 9 & Over

Note: Rescue breathing and CPR for this age is the same as it would be for an adult.

Check for Responsiveness:
Shake or tap your child gently and shout to see if she moves or makes a sound. If she doesn't respond, send someone to call 911 and retrieve an automated external defibrillator (AED), if one is available (even if you have to leave your child).

Carefully place your child on her back. If there's a chance that she may have a spinal injury, enlist the help of two people to move her to avoid twisting her head and neck. When she is lying down, open her airway by using two fingers to lift up her chin and at the same time using your other hand to push her forehead down.

Check for Breathing:
Look, listen, and feel for breathing by placing your ear close to your child's mouth and nose to feel and listen for breath -- simultaneously watch your child's chest for any movement.

Perform Rescue Breathing:
If your child is not breathing or is having difficulties breathing, cover her mouth tightly with your mouth and pinch her nose closed. Keep her chin lifted and her head tilted back. Give two breaths (each breath should last about a second and should make the child's chest rise).

Perform CPR:
Place the heel of one hand on the child's breastbone, just below the nipples. Place the heel of your other hand on top fo the first and lace your fingers together. Position your body direcltly over and above your hands while you kneel next to your child. Give 30 chest compressions. Make sure your compressions are very fast and hard. You should press down about two inches into the chest and after each compression let your child's chest rise completely. Count the compressions quickly ("1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 29, 30, off").

After finishing the 30 compressions, give the child two more rescue breaths and be sure that the chest rises.

Continue with CPR (30 compressions followed by two breaths) until the child recovers or until help arrives. If an AED is available, use it as soon as possible.

If your child starts breathing again, help her into the recovery position. To do this, kneel next to her and place the child's arm that is closest to you straight out from the body. Take your child's other arm and help her tuck her hand against her cheek (with the back side of her hand touching her cheek, palm facing you). Grasp and bend the child's far knee and while protecting your child's head with your other hand (on top of your child's hand and against her cheek), gently roll the child towards you by pulling the far knee over to the ground. Then tilt the child's head up slightly to open her airway and make sure that her hand is still tucked under her cheek to keep her head off the ground. Stay close to your child and continue checking her breathing until help arrives.

Copyright © 2006 Peg Rosen. Reprinted with permission from the April 2002 issue of Parents Magazine.

Updated March 2010.

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