Imagine finding your child pulse less and not breathing. What a terrifying thought! Would you know how to save your childs life? The number of parents that do not know CPR is astounding. Simply knowing CPR could make a dramatic difference in the lives of you and your loved ones. To perform CPR, first you must establish unresponsiveness. Try tapping the child and speaking loudly, to provoke a response. Once unresponsiveness has been determined, if you are alone, you should shout for help. Then provide basic life support for approximately one minute before going to call 911. If a second person arrives, send him or her to call the ambulance.
The next step is to open the airway. Place two or three fingers under each side of the jaw, at its angle. Lift the jaw upward and outward. If this alone does not open the airway, slightly tilt the childs head. Check for signs of breathing by using the look, listen, and feel method. Also, check for anything that may be blocking the airway.
If something is visible, remove it. Continue by giving two slow breaths, one to one and a half seconds per breath. Watch for the chest to rise, and allow for exhalation between breaths. Check for a pulse. The carotid artery, on the side of the neck, is the easiest and most accessible. If breathing remains absent, but a pulse is present, provide rescue breathing, rescue breathing is one breath every three seconds.
If no pulse is present, give five chest compressions. To achieve effective compressions, the child should be supine on a hard, flat surface. Use one hand to maintain the position of the head. With the other hand, use two fingers to trace the lower margin of the rib cage. Find where the ribs and sternum meet, avoid doing compressions in that notch. Place the heel of your hand over the lower half in the sternum, between the nipple line and the notch.
While working with children it can be difficult sometimes to work out what might be the matter with children. This following might help: Common cold / Flu– sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, headache, body – ache Gastroenteritis – vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration Tonsillitis – sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, fever, headache, aches and pains Scarlet fever – fever, loss of appetite, ...
Compress the chest approximately one to one and a half inches. Follow the compressions with one slow breath. After about one minute of CPR, check the pulse. If you are alone, now is the time to place your call to 911. If the call has already been placed, and the child remains pulse less, continue to give CPR in 5:1 cycles. At anytime the child resumes effective breathing, place him or her in a comfortable position and remain calm until the ambulance arrives. Finally, by no means should this be considered a substitute for proper training. Classes are very affordable, and often free. Contact your local fire department or hospital about classes offered in your area.
CPR is a skill that is never too late to be learned.