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Babies not breathing is parents’ biggest fear – but only one in four know what to do

St John Ambulance launches nursery rhyme-themed campaign – with a memorable musical twist - to teach baby CPR to parents

We’ve launched Nursery Rhymes Inc. a campaign that teaches parents and the wider public how to help a baby who’s stopped breathing. New research* shows that this is the first aid emergency parents are most worried about, yet only one in four know how to help.

Nursery Rhymes Inc. teaches baby CPR in a short, clear and reassuring way to help parents remember what to do in an emergency.

The campaign features everyone’s favourite nursery rhyme characters who’ve come together to create a memorable rhyme to explain the technique. Incy Wincy Spider, Humpty Dumpty, Jack & Jill, and the Cat & the Fiddle will be appearing in a TV ad struggling to write the rhyme – though they have more luck in the longer online version, which promises to make baby CPR truly unforgettable in just two minutes with a catchy song.

Nursery Rhymes Inc. follows on from last year’s award winning The Chokeables, which taught parents how to help a choking baby and is credited with saving the lives of 46 children since its launch. The video, which has had over 10 million views online, forms part of our vision that everyone should know first aid.

The stars of Nursery Rhymes Inc

Our new research shows:

  • • An unconscious and not breathing child is the most frightening scenario for three out of four parents (74%)
  • • Yet only one in four parents (26%) would know how to correctly administer baby CPR
  • • Most parents who know first aid (62%) learnt it through a workplace first aid course – yet baby CPR is different to adult CPR (for instance, you need to cover the baby’s nose and mouth when doing puffs, and you use two fingers to give pumps to the chest)
  • • Only one in four (26%) parents have learnt first aid specifically for babies

Sue Killen, CEO at St John Ambulance, said:

‘The Chokeables was a real step forward for us and the response was amazing. We’ve listened to parents and we know that they want to learn first aid skills in a way that’s easy and memorable. That’s what inspired us to create Nursery Rhymes Inc.

‘We know that a major barrier to parents learning is that baby CPR frightens them, so we’ve removed the fear factor and made it reassuring and as easy as possible to learn. We hope the song will stick in everyone’s heads! We’re asking everyone to share the video so that all parents, grandparents, and carers can learn what to do in those crucial minutes after a baby has stopped breathing.’

To celebrate the campaign, we’re putting on special baby first aid courses for parents, carers, and parents-to-be for just £25 + VAT. To find your nearest course, or watch more first aid videos and advice, go to

*research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of St John Ambulance of 2000 parents with 0-16 years olds in the UK, December 2015