First-Aid: How To Resuscitate A Child?

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be performed in older children just as in an adult, except that the rate must be slightly faster, and the pressure must be lighter. The technique for small children and babies is as follows.

1. Open the airway by gently lifting the chin and tilting the head.

2. Support the head slightly.

3. Watch for breathing.

4. Clear any obstruction with a finger without touching the back of the child’s throat.

5. Check for the circulation by placing your index and middle fingers on the inside of the arm, and pressing lightly towards the bone. This allows feeling for the brachial pulse.

6. Give artificial ventilation at twice the rate used for adults, using similar technique.

7. If you cannot detect a pulse or, in infants, if it is very slow (less than 60) give external cardiac massage over the lower half of the sternum breastbone. Press at a rate of 100 compressions per minute, to a depth of
1.5-2.5 cm.

8. Combine with artificial ventilation, giving five compressions to one breath.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in children

Age (years) Chest compression Artificial ventilation
<1 5 (with 2 fingers) 1 (on mouth and nose)
1-7 5 (with 1 hand) 1 (on mouth only)
> 8 15 (with 2 hands) 2 (on mouth only)


Any unconscious victim should positively be placed in the recovery position. The head is slightly lower than the rest of the body to allow liquids to drain from the mouth, reducing the risk of the victim inhaling regurgitated stomach contents. The head, neck, and back are kept in a straight line, while the limbs are kept bent to keep the body in a secure and comfortable position. An unconscious victim may be left unattended in this position, if necessary. This method can also be used to transport a casualty on a stretcher. The advantages of a recovery position are as follows.

1. It maintains open airway.

2. Tongue cannot fall to the back of the throat.

3. The head and neck remain extended so that the air passage is widened and any vomiting or other fluid in the victim’s mouth drains freely.

4. Necessary stability is provided to keep the body propped in a safe and comfortable position.

The technique for placing a victim in the recovery position is as follows.

1. Remove spectacles if worn, and bulky objects from the victim’s pockets, if any.

2. Kneeling beside the casualty, open the airway by tilting the head and lifting the chin.

3. Straighten his legs.

4. Place the arm nearest you uppermost.

5. Bring the arm furthest from you across the chest, hold the hand, palm outwards, against the victim’s cheek.

6. With your other hand, grasp the thigh furthest from you and pull the knee up, keeping the foot flat on the ground.

7. Keeping his hand pressed against his cheek, pull at the high to roll the casualty towards you and on to his side.

8. Tilt the head back to keep the airway remains open.

9. Adjust the hand under the cheek, so that the head stays in this position.

10. Keep the hip and knee bent at right angles.

The recovery position may have to be modified to avoid making injuries worse.

1. An unconscious victim with spinal injury needs extra support for the head and neck during turning, and in the final position, to keep the head and trunk aligned at all times.

2. If limbs are injured and cannot be bent, or if the victim is lying in a confined space extra helpers are required or a rolled blanket has to be placed against the victim’s body to prevent it from toppling forward.

3. A heavy victim has to be turned using both hands. The clothing may be grasped at the shoulders and hips to pull the victim against you thighs. Another person should support the head while the victim is being turned.

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