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CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is pushing down on a person's chest and breathing into his or her mouth. It's used in emergencies when someone's heart stops beating, or when he or she is not breathing normally (may be gasping for breath) or is not breathing at all.
Most children never need rescue breathing or CPR. But if they do, the best thing you can do is be prepared. Talk to your doctor or take a class to learn how to do rescue breathing and CPR, and then use these instructions as a reference.
Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are in many public places. Before you use an AED, follow all the steps for CPR.
To use an AED, place it next to the child and turn it on. The AED will tell you what to do next.
Step 1: Check to see if the child is conscious.
Tap or gently shake the child and shout, "Are you okay?" to see if the child responds. But do not shake a child who might have a neck or back injury. That could make it worse.
If the child does not respond, send someone to call 911 (if you are not alone). Then start CPR. But if you are alone, start CPR. Do CPR for 2 minutes. Then call 911.
Step 2: Start chest compressions.
Step 3: Rescue breaths.
If the child is breathing, watch for any changes until emergency services arrive.
Talk with your doctor or nurse if you have questions about how to do rescue breathing and CPR.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Current as of: June 26, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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