Once you've determined that a baby/infant is not breathing normally, and CPR is needed, then how do you go about this?
How to determine that a baby/infant is really not breathing?
We'll go over DR. ABC (Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing, Circulation) in another 'How to ... Guide', so we're assuming this infant really needs CPR. For First Aid purposes, an infant is 0 - 1 years old.
Difference between adult and child/infant CPR
There are differences between giving CPR to an adult and an infant. First of all, there is a difference between the reason WHY their hearts have stopped. Usually, if an adult goes into cardiac arrest, this is caused by a failure of the heart. Which means there is still oxygen within their blood stream, and once we give CPR, that oxygen will be transported throughout the body, to the cells.
However, an infant or a child's heart usually stops because there's been an issue with their breathing. This means that their little body is already short of oxygen, so their cells are desperate for it.
Give five (5) rescue breaths first
This is why we give infants and children five (5) rescue breaths first, before commencing CPR.
And if you are on your own, give the infant one minute of CPR before going for help. That is about 3 cycles of 30 compressions to 2 rescue breaths (after having given those 5 initial ones).
Head tilt and chin lift
First, you need to ensure that the infant's airway is open. To do this, put your hand closest to the infant's forehead, on his or her forehead. Then put the index finger of the other hand under the his or her chin - on the bony part (we don't want to throttle the little one!). Then, very gently, tilt the infant's head up.
This moves the infant's tongue away from the back of the throat, where it could be blocking the airway.
Open your own mouth wide, and put it over the infant's mouth and nose. Breathe gently into the infant's mouth and nose. Make sure you maintain the head tilt and chin lift while you are doing this.
Give the infant 5 gentle breaths, and watch his/her chest rise.