Unresponsive and breathing child
What to look for - unresponsive and breathing child
If your child is not responding to you and you think they are
unresponsive, ask loudly: ‘What has happened?’ or ‘Open your eyes’.
Place one hand on their shoulder and tap gently. If they still do
not respond, it’s likely they’re unresponsive.
What you need to do - unresponsive and breathing
If you think your child is unresponsive, check to see if they
are still breathing normally. If they are unresponsive and
breathing, here's what you need to do:
Step 1 - Open their airway
Place one hand on the child’s forehead and gently tilt their
head back. As you do this, their mouth will fall open slightly.
Place the fingertips of your other hand on the point of their
chin and lift it.
Step 2 - Check to ensure they are breathing normally
Look, listen and feel for normal breathing – chest movement,
sounds and breaths on your cheek. Do this for no more than ten
If they are breathing normally, put them into the recovery position to keep their airway
Step 3 - First, kneel down next to them on the floor
The next three steps are for if you find the child lying on
their back. If you find them lying on their side or their front you
may not need all three.
- 1. Place their arm nearest you at a right angle to their body,
with the palm facing upwards.
- 2. Take their other arm and place it across their chest so the
back of their hand is against their cheek nearest you, and hold it
there. With your other hand, lift their far knee and pull it up
until their foot is flat on the floor.
- 3. Now roll the child onto their side. Carefully pull on their
bent knee and roll them towards you. Once you’ve done this, the top
arm should be supporting their head and the bent leg should be on
the floor to stop them from rolling over too far.
Next, check that their airway is open, so they can breathe, and
any fluid in their mouth can drain away. To do this, tilt their
head back, gently tilt their chin forward and make sure that their
airway will stay open and clear.
But, if you think your child could have a spinal injury, you
must try and keep their neck as still as possible. Instead of
tilting their neck, use the jaw thrust technique:
Place your hands on either side of their face and with your
fingertips gently lift the jaw to open the airway, avoiding any
movement of their neck.
Once you’ve put them safely into the recovery position, call 999
or 112 for emergency help.
Remember that until help arrives you must keep checking that
they’re still breathing normally.
If they stop breathing normally at any point, call 999 or 112
straight away and get ready to give them chest compressions and
rescue breaths – CPR.