Infant and Child CPR Tips

Every parent should take a CPR class. It can’t hurt to take a class and get certified in Infant and Child CPR by the American Heart Association. You’ll get to see these techniques performed in person and ask the instructor any questions. And someday you may save a life! 

Shout and tap.

Decide whether CPR is necessary. Call out your child’s name and gently tap him on the shoulder. If there is no response and the baby isn’t breathing (or not breathing normally), position the infant on his back to begin CPR. 

Remember to “Take a CAB”.

Performing CPR on a baby comes down to these three steps.

C = Circulation

1. Place the baby on his back on a firm, flat surface, such as the floor or table.
2. Place two fingers of one hand just below an imaginary horizontal line between baby’s nipples.
3. Give 30 chest compressions. Hard and fast! Depth should be 1½ inches to circulate the blood.

A = Airway

After 30 compressions, gently tip the head back one hand and lift his chin slightly with the other.

B = Breathing

1. Cover the baby’s mouth and nose with your mouth.
2. Give a gentle puff of air in baby’s mouth, wait one second, and then give a second puff of air.
3. Give two breaths after every 30 chest compressions.

Do the CAB steps 5 times (30 chest compression to two breaths) = 2 minutes. At the end of every 2 minutes, assess the baby. If there is still no movement or breathing, continue to repeat the CAB steps until help arrives.

Call 911.

If there’s someone else at home with you, have her call for help immediately. If you’re alone, you can start CPR. If after two minutes there is still no response, call 911. Once you give the emergency operator your info, continue to administer CPR until help arrives.

– Michelle Enerson, RNC, is the NICU Program Coordinator for the Beaumont Parenting Program and a certified Basic Life Support Instructor.

An Empty Toilet Paper Roll Could Reduce Your Child’s Risk of Choking

chokingguideChances are you know someone who has had a personal experience with either a child choking or nearly choking on an object. Children under the age of 3 are at the highest risk for choking due to their small airway, underdeveloped ability to chew and the propensity to explore items with their mouth. Though you will not be able to fully prevent an unintentional choking episode, there are things that you can do as a parent to reduce the risk that this will happen in your home.

First, examine the size and types of food that your child eats. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) parent website, “Food accounts for over 50% of choking episodes.” The AAP further advises parents to cut food into pieces no bigger than ½ inch and ensure the child eats sitting down, well supervised. Young children can become distracted if playing, walking or laying down while eating.

The AAP also recommends avoiding the following food until over the age of 4. This list includes:

  • Hot dogs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Chunks of meat or cheese
  • Whole grapes
  • Hard or sticky candy
  • Popcorn
  • Chunks of peanut butter
  • Chunks of raw vegetables
  • Chewing gum

In addition to instances of kids choking on food, other items are also a significant danger. Non-food items that have been found to cause choking incidents in children include:

  • Coins (In my experience this is the most frequent item!)
  • Buttons
  • Toys with small parts
  • Toys that can fit entirely in a child’s mouth
  • Small balls, marbles
  • High powered magnets (They can cause serious internal damage)
  • Balloons
  • Small hair bows, barrettes, rubber bands
  • Pen or marker caps
  • Small button-type batteries (these batteries continue to burn the esophagus even after it is removed). Read a detailed post on this here
  • Pieces of dog food

Additional steps you can take to reduce the risk of choking include:

  1. Examine your home from your child’s viewpoint. Get down on your hands and knees to their height, and see what’s in their grasp.
  2. Shop for toys that are recommended for your child’s current age group. Keep smaller toys that belong to older siblings secured and out of the reach of younger kids. You can use an empty toilet paper or paper towel tube as “choking hazard” guide. If an object fits in the tube, it’s too small for children under the age of 3.
  3. Reinforce with your kids not to put non-food items in their mouth. It may seem as if they are too young to understand, but simple statements such as “we only put food in our mouth or we can get a bad ouchie” will eventually sink in. I firmly believe you should not only “baby proof”, but explain to kids in simple terms why things are unsafe.
  4. Learn CPR — which includes choking relief! Beaumont offers several Family & Friends CPR courses for a very low fee!

Erica Surman, RN, BSN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager, Beaumont Health System

Learn New, More User-Friendly CPR Guidelines

We recommend that new parents learn CPR not only for infants but for children and adults too. Statistically we are more likely to have the opportunity to use CPR on an adult family member or friend than on a child…..which is why the American Heart Association has created the class for lay responders “CPR for Family and Friends”. During this 2 ½ hour class you will have the opportunity to practice adult, child and infant CPR and relief of choking, on manikins with the assistance of a certified instructor. Continue reading

Home Sweet Home … Or Is It?

As an ER nurse and mother of 3 boys, I’ve experienced first-hand an absurd amount of pediatric accidents. Unfortunately, many were preventable with proper child proofing.

There isn’t 100% fool-proof method to prevent childhood injuries, but here is a list of home safety tips. I hope it helps you modify your home and lifestyle as needed.

Continue reading