How to do Infant CPR

The following is a scenario where infant CPR and first aid are performed. The rescue guidelines are derived from St Mark James.


All the material posted on this page is for information purposes only. To learn the skills and knowledge to do CPR on an infant you need to take a CPR course (find a course here).

Rescue Scenario

The scenario is as follows: You walk into a room and find two parents in distress with the mother holding an infant that is in severe respiratory distress (looks like he or she is choking). The parents say the infant was choking on something that he or she put in her mouth. No other injuries are mentioned or recognized.

Rescue steps are as follows:

  1. Check for dangers. The rescuer must assess the sign and possible mechanisms of injury and in this scenario, speak to the parents in the room to gather more information.
  2. You must ask for permission. The rescuer must obtain permission from parents / legal guardians prior to beginning treatment on any infant or child.
    Scenario for Pocket Mask For CPR with One Way Valve Removed
    Whenever possible you want to use barrier devices such as this pocket mask with a one-way valve. This equipment is essential in preventing disease transmission for lay rescuers.
  3. Use or put on self-protection: To protect yourself and the victim from any disease complications put on all the necessary protective equipment such as a barrier device and gloves.
  4. Check the level of consciousness of the infant – To check the levels of consciousness the rescuer should speak to the infant and tickle / shake the feet of the infant to determine responsiveness.
  5. Open the airway – The rescuer must attempt to open the airway of the victim by carefully tilting the head. The rescuer should position the infant’s head where the chin and the nose are parallel to the ground. Without properly opening the airway breathing can not be administered or checked.
  6. Check for Breathing – Check for breathing by using the “look, listen, and feel” approach for a maximum of 5 seconds. The rescuer is checking for normal breathing.
  7. Check the victim’s circulation – The rescuer should place two fingers between the infant’s bicep and tricep to check for a pulse for no more than 10 seconds.
  8. Send a bystander to call 9.1.1. –The rescuer should send someone to contact EMS. The rescuer must also send a bystander to locate an AED designed for infant rescues (with pediatric pads).
  9. Begin CPR – Using two fingers just below the nipple line of the infant the rescuer should do 30 chest compression’s followed by 2 breaths.
  10. AED application. If an AED arrives on the scene with the proper pediatric pads turn on the machine and follow the prompts.
  11. Continue CPR or follow the prompts of the AED until the victim shows signs of life, the paramedics tell you to stop, or if you are too tired to continue.
For more information on infant first aid or CPR or for CPR techniques for adults, children, or infants please click on one of the highlights words to be directed to another page. Save a life by taking a first aid or CPR course.