197839 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation for Children Age 1 to Early Teens

    (Lay Rescuer CPR for Children Age 1 to Early Teens)


    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a series of steps to help a person who is not responding and has stopped breathing. CPR helps deliver oxygen rich blood to the body tissue when the body is not able to do this on its own.

    Reasons for Procedure

    CPR is given to a child who is not breathing. Reasons for this may include:
    The outcome will depend on the cause and how soon effective CPR was initiated. Many people are unable to regain a normal heartbeat after it has stopped.

    Possible Complications

    It is possible that ribs may fracture or break during chest compressions. Other complications, like a puncture of a lung, are also possible.
    People with weakened bones have a higher risk of fractures from CPR. However, there is greater risk of death if CPR is delayed or not done correctly.

    What to Do

    Prior to Procedure

    When you see a child suddenly collapse or find a child unconscious on the ground, immediately check to see if he is responsive. Tap the child and ask: “Are you OK?” If the child is unresponsive, follow these steps:
    • If someone is with you, have that person call for medical help right away. That person should also get the automatic external defibrillator (AED). An AED is a device that delivers electric shocks to the person's heart. If you are alone, do CPR for about two minutes before calling for medical help and getting the AED.
    • How to Perform CPR Child\JPG\CPRchild 6.jpg If the person is not breathing or only gasping, begin CPR by doing chest compressions:
      • Place the palm of your hand on the lower half of the chest directly over the sternum. One or two hands may be used.
      • Straighten your arms and lock your elbows. Begin pressing down in a straight motion. The compressions should be at least two inches deep.
      • Push hard and fast at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.
      • Allow the chest to rise completely between compressions.
      • Minimize interruption between compressions.
      How to Perform CPR Child\JPG\CPRchild 5b.jpg If you are trained in CPR, give two rescue breaths after 30 compressions. To give rescue breaths:
      • Open the airway by placing one hand on the forehead and lifting the chin with your other hand.
      • Gently tilt the head backward. Pinch the victim's nose and cover his mouth with yours.
      • Breathe twice into his mouth until you see the chest rise. Breaths should be about one second each.
      • After giving two rescue breaths, do 30 compressions. Continue the cycle of two breaths and 30 compressions.
    • If you are not trained in CPR, continue doing the chest compressions without giving rescue breaths.
    • If another person is present, take turns doing the chest compressions to avoid getting tired. If two people are giving CPR, the ratio of chest compressions to breaths is 15 compressions and two breaths.
    • Give CPR until the AED is brought to the scene or until:
      • Medical help arrives
      • It becomes unsafe to continue
      • The victim regains consciousness and is able to breathe
      To use the AED:
      • Turn the AED on.
      • Attach the pads.
      • Follow the prompts. If advised, deliver the shock. If the shock is not advised, the AED will tell you to resume CPR.

    How Long Will It Take?

    The length of time for CPR depends on the underlying causes and response time of medical help.

    Will It Hurt the Child?

    The patient is unconscious when CPR is given. The procedure does not hurt. Some children may complain of soreness in the chest after regaining consciousness.

    Post-procedure Care

    The emergency team will take over care when they arrive.
    Children will need to be taken to the hospital for evaluation following CPR.


    American Heart Association www.heart.org/

    American Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/


    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/

    Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://ww2.heartandstroke.ca/


    American Heart Association guidelines. 2005 American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and emergency cardiovascular care (ECC) of pediatric and neonatal patients: pediatric basic life support. Pediatrics . 2006;117(5):e989-1004.

    American Heart Association. 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science: Part 1 executive summary. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/122/18%5Fsuppl%5F3/S640 . Published October 2010. Accessed November 16, 2012.

    American Heart Association. 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science: Part 13 pediatric basic life support. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/122/18%5Fsuppl%5F3/S862 . Published October 2010. Accessed November 16, 2012.

    American Heart Association. Heartsaver First Aid with CPR and AED . Dallas, TX: American Heart Association; 2006

    Bush CM, Jones JS, Cohle SD, Johnson H. Pediatric injuries from cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Ann Emerg Med . 1996;28(1):40-44.

    Bardy, G.H. A critic's assessment of our approach to cardiac arrest. New Engl J of Med . 2011;364(4):374-375.

    Topjian AA, Berg RA, Nadkarni VM.Pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation: advances in science, techniques, and outcomes. Pediatrics . 2008 Nov;122(5):1086-98. Review.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.