1. Check for responsiveness. Shake or tap the child gently. See if the child moves or makes a noise. Shout, "Are you OK?"
2. If there is no response, shout for help. Send someone to call 911 and retrieve an automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is available. Do not leave the child alone to call 911 and retrieve an AED until you have performed CPR for about 2 minutes.
3. Carefully place the child on their back. If there is a chance the child has a spinal injury, two people should move the child to prevent the head and neck from twisting.
4. Perform chest compressions:
5. Open the airway. Lift up the chin with one hand. At the same time, push down on the forehead with the other hand.
6. Look, listen, and feel for breathing. Place your ear close to the child's mouth and nose. Watch for chest movement. Feel for breath on your cheek.
7. If the child is not breathing:
8. Continue CPR (30 chest compressions followed by 2 breaths, then repeat) for about 2 minutes.
9. After about 2 minutes of CPR, if the child still does not have normal breathing, coughing, or any movement, leave the child if you are alone and call 911. If an AED for children is available, use it now.
10. Repeat rescue breathing and chest compressions until the child recovers or help arrives.
If the child starts breathing again, place them in the recovery position. Periodically re-check for breathing until help arrives.
Review Date: 2/12/2021
Reviewed By: Jesse Borke, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP, Attending Physician at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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