Emergency advice

Baby CPR:

  1. Call 999.
  2. If alone give CPR for a minute first.
  3. Give 5 initial puffs.
  4. Then 30 pumps and 2 puffs. Repeat 30:2. 

What is CPR?

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Knowing how to do CPR can give your baby the best chance of survival.  

We've updated our guidance due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Rescue breaths must still be performed on a child, as cardiac arrest in children is likely to be caused by a respiratory problem.

If a child is unresponsive and not breathing normally, you still need to call 999 or 112 for emergency help and start CPR straight away.

What to do

  1. First aid - call 999 or 112 for emergency help

    After you have performed a primary survey, if you find that the baby is unresponsive and not breathing, you should ask a helper to call 999 or 112 for emergency help while you start CPR.

    • If you're on your own, you need to give one minute of CPR before calling on a speakerphone.
    • Do not leave the baby to make the call.
  2. Baby CPR - place them on a firm surface and open their airway

    Start CPR. Place them on a firm surface and open their airway. To do this, place one hand on their forehead and very gently tilt their head back. With your other hand, use your fingertip and gently lift the chin.

  3. Baby CPR - give five initial puffs

    Give five initial puffs. Take a breath and put your mouth around the baby’s mouth and nose to make a seal, and blow gently and steadily for up to one second. The chest should rise. Remove your mouth and watch the chest fall. That’s one rescue breath, or puff.

    Do this five times.

    • If their chest doesn't rise, check the airway is open.

    Doing rescue breaths may increase the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus, either to the rescuer or the baby. This may be mitigated by placing a face shield or pocket mask over the baby’s mouth.

    It is vital that you perform rescue breaths as cardiac arrest in a baby is likely caused by a respiratory problem.

  4. Baby CPR - give 30 chest pumps

    You will then need to give 30 pumps. Put two fingers in the centre of the baby’s chest and push down a third of the depth of the chest. Release the pressure allowing the chest to come back up.

    Repeat this 30 times at a rate of 100 to 120 pumps per minute.

    • The beat of the song ‘Nellie the Elephant’ can help you keep the right rate.
  5. Baby CPR - keep alternating 30 pumps with two puffs

    After 30 pumps, open the airway and give two puffs. Keep alternating 30 pumps with two puffs (30:2) until:

    • emergency help arrives and takes over
    • the baby starts showing signs of life and starts to breathe normally.
  6. Baby CPR - if baby shows signs of becoming responsive, put them in recovery position

    If the baby shows signs of becoming responsive, such as, coughing, opening their eyes, making a noise, or starts to breathe normally, put them in the recovery position.

    Monitor their level of response and prepare to give CPR again if necessary.

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How to do a baby primary survey

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How to do CPR on an adult

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