Emergency advice

Child CPR:

  1. Call 999.
  2. Give 5 initial breaths.
  3. Then 30 compressions and 2 breaths.
  4. Repeat 30:2.
  5. Use defibrillator if available.

What is CPR?

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

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 child is unresponsive and not breathing you should ask a helper to call 999 or 112 for emergency help while you start CPR. Ask a helper to find and bring a defibrillator if available.

    • If you are on your own, you need to give one minute of CPR before calling on a speaker phone.
    • Do not leave the child to make the call or to look for a defibrillator.
  2. Child CPR - gently lift the chin and tilt the head back

    Start CPR. Place them on a firm surface and open their airway. To do this, place one hand on their forehead to tilt their head back and use two fingers from the other hand to gently lift the chin.

  3. Child CPR - give rescue breaths

    Give five initial rescue breaths.

    Take the hand from the forehead and pinch the soft part of the nose closed, allowing the mouth to fall open.

    With the head still tilted, take a breath and put your mouth around the child’s, to make a seal.

    Blow into their mouth gently and steadily for up to one second, until the chest rises.

    Remove your mouth and watch the chest fall.

    That’s one rescue breath. Do this five times.

  4. Child CPR - give 30 chest compressions

    You will then need to give 30 chest compressions.

    Kneel by the child and put one hand in the centre of the child’s chest.

    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 compressions per minute.

    • The beat of the song ‘Nellie the Elephant’ can help you keep the right rate.
  5. Child CPR - give rescue breaths

    After 30 compressions, open the airway and give two breaths.

    Keep alternating 30 compressions with two breaths (30:2) until:

    • emergency help arrives and takes over
    • the child starts showing signs of life and starts to breathe normally
    • a defibrillator is ready to be used.
  6. If the helper returns with a defibrillator, ask them to switch it on and follow the voice prompts while you continue with CPR.

  7. Child CPR - if the child becomes responsive and starts to breathe normally, put them in the recovery position

    If the child shows signs of becoming responsive such as coughing, opening eyes, speaking, and starts to breathe normally, put them in the recovery position. Monitor their level of response and prepare to give CPR again if necessary.

    • If you have used a defibrillator, leave it attached.
Did you find this information helpful?

Related first aid advice

How to put a child in the recovery position

If a child is not responding to you but breathing normally, it’s safe to put them in the recovery position. Learn what to do.

How to do CPR on a baby (under one year old)

If a baby is not responding to you and not breathing normally, you will need to call 999 or 112 for emergency help and start CPR straight away. Learn what to do.

How to do CPR on an adult

If an adult is unresponsive and not breathing normally, you need to call 999 or 112 for emergency help and start CPR straight away. Learn what to do.

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