As parents and caregivers, we must keep our children safe and healthy. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, and being prepared in an emergency is essential. CPR is one of the most important skills you can learn as a parent or caregiver. In this blog, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on CPR on infants and toddlers, focusing on Montessori principles of independence and respect for the child.
What is CPR?
When an individual has ceased breathing or has no heartbeat, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure that is administered. The process involves administering chest compressions and rescue breaths to circulate oxygenated blood to critical organs, including the brain, and thus help save the person’s life.
Step-by-Step Guide to Performing CPR on Infants and Toddlers
The first step in performing CPR on an infant or toddler is to check for responsiveness. Gently tap the child’s shoulder and shout their name to see if they respond. If the child is unresponsive, call 000 for emergency medical services immediately.
Next, check the child’s airway for blockages and check if they are breathing. Look at their chest to see if there is movement. If the child is breathing, place them in the recovery position on their side and continue to monitor them until the ambulance arrives.
If the child is not breathing, begin chest compressions by placing the heel of one hand in the centre of the child’s chest (or two fingers for babies). Push firmly and quickly, allowing the chest to recoil between each compression. The rate of compressions should be around 100-120 per minute.
Once 30 compressions have been completed, open the child’s airway by gently tilting their head back and lifting their chin. Start rescue breaths by covering their mouth and nose with your mouth and blowing gently for one second. Watch for the child’s chest to rise, and repeat. If you can’t see movement on the child’s chest, check again for blockages in his airway.
Continue giving 30 compressions followed by 2 breaths until either emergency medical services arrive, or the child starts breathing independently. If they start breathing and responding, put them into the recovery position and continue to monitor them.
Tips for Performing CPR on Infants and Toddlers
Performing CPR can be stressful and scary, especially when it’s on a young child. Listed below are some helpful tips to ensure a smoother CPR process:
- Stay calm: Children can sense when you’re anxious or upset, so staying clear and focused is essential during an emergency.
- Use gentle pressure: When performing chest compressions, you should press straight down on the child’s chest by one third of the chest depth (or approximately 4cm for a baby and 5cm for a child)
- Please don’t give up: CPR can be tiring, but it’s essential to keep going until emergency medical services arrive or the child starts breathing independently.
- Practise: The more you practise CPR, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel in an emergency.
Montessori Principles and Dealing with Emergencies
At Montessori Academy, we believe in fostering independence and respect for the child. This means we encourage children to take ownership of their learning and development and respect their needs and abilities.
These principles can be applied by teaching children the basics of first aid and emergency response. One important aspect of teaching children to be prepared for emergency situations is educating them on how to identify emergency service workers, how to ask for help, knowing the number to call in an emergency – Triple Zero (000), and the importance of learning their home address. Empowering children with knowledge and skills can help them feel more confident and prepared in an emergency.
Acquiring the ability to perform CPR on infants and toddlers is vital for parents and caregivers. Following the provided step-by-step guide and tips can make one better prepared to handle emergencies confidently and with composure. It is advisable to remain calm, use gentle pressure, and practise regularly to prepare for any situation. At Montessori Academy, we strongly believe in equipping children with essential knowledge and skills.