Life-saving skill: How to perform infant CPR

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Hopefully you’ll never be in the position of having to perform CPR on your child, but if it comes to saving your infant’s life, would you know what to do? 

Whether you’re expecting your first child, your second, or maybe you’re a grandparent, it’s never too late to learn those simple life-saving skills. 

According to the American Heart Association, performing CPR on an infant comes down to a few steps. If your baby is choking, but responsive, first, call 9-1-1. 

“Put that on speakerphone, and go ahead and start CPR, beginning with compressions,” said Liz Huenke, a CPR Program Coordinator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

“You’re going to take the baby, you’re going to sit or kneel, get in this position, you’ll start with the baby face-down. You’ll take the heel of your hand and perform five back slaps in a downward motion, hitting hard there right between the shoulder blades. Then, I’m actually going to cradle the infant between my two arms, and flip him or her over, and then we’re going to do five downward chest thrusts.” 

Continue that sequence of five back slaps and five chest thrusts. If you’ve done that, and the baby becomes unresponsive, begin chest compressions, and again, make sure help is on the way. 

“Calling 9-1-1 immediately is definitely a critical piece in that chain of survival,” said Diana Briggs, Community Impact Director at the American Heart Association. 

Awareness and education are also critical links in that chain. 

“When you think about an infant being in your home, you can share this information with anyone who’s giving that care for your child.” 

The best way to learn infant CPR is in a class, taught by a certified instructor. You can also practice at home with an “Infant CPR anytime kit. Those are available to anyone for purchase here: American Heart Association Infant CPR kit

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