Unconscious and not breathing – child
What to look for
If your child is not responding to you and you think they are
unconscious, Ask loudly ‘What’s happened? Or say to them: ‘Open
your eyes!’ Place one hand on their shoulder and tap gently. If
they still do not respond, it’s likely that they’re
Open their airway and check to see if they are breathing
normally by looking for chest movement, listening for the sounds of
normal breathing and seeing if you can feel their breaths on your
If they are not breathing, you need to start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation – a
combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths) straight
What you need to do
If someone is with you, get them to call 999 or 112 for
If you’re on your own, you need to give one minute’s worth of
CPR – cardiopulmonary resuscitation - before you call for help.
This involves giving chest compressions and rescue breaths to keep
the child’s circulation going.
How to perform CPR on a child
Kneel down beside the child on the floor, level with their
Give five initial rescue breaths before starting the sequence of
30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths.
How to give a rescue breath
• Ensure the child’s airway is open.
• Pinch their nose firmly closed.
• Take a deep breath and seal your lips around their mouth.
• Blow steadily into the mouth until the chest rises.
• Remove your mouth and allow the chest to fall.
Repeat this four times more.
Now Give 30 chest compressions.
How to give a chest compression
• Place the heel of one hand towards the end of their
breastbone, in the centre of their chest, making sure you keep the
fingers off the ribs.
• Lean over the child, with your arm straight, pressing down
vertically on the breastbone, and press the chest down by at least
one-third of its depth.
• Release the pressure without removing your hand from their
chest. Allow the chest to come back up fully – this is one
Repeat this 30 times, at a rate of about twice a second or the
speed of the song ‘Staying Alive’.
Now give two rescue breaths.
Remember to call for emergency help after about a minute if you
are on your own.
Carry on giving 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue
breaths for as long as you can, or until help arrives. If the child
starts breathing normally again, stop CPR and put them in the