Infant and Child Basic First Aid

| In Articles | 26th June 2020

0 – 28 days NEONATE

28 days – 1 year INFANT

1 year – puberty CHILD

80 % of paediatric cardiac arrests are due to respiratory (breathing) problems

Early recognition and treatment of respiratory problems increases the rate of successful resuscitation in children!

Opening the infant's airway

  • Put a rolled towel/blanket under the upper part of the body to align the airway
  • Ensure a neutral position of the head
  • Chin lift
  • Manually remove any foreign bodies from the mouth

Check for breathing

  • Look for chest movement
  • Listen for breath sounds
  • Feel for expired air

Assess for 10 seconds before deciding breathing is absent!

Is the victim breathing normally?

YES, breathing is normal

child - breathing aid - recovery position
Recovery position for a child
  • If it’s possible, turn the child onto his side in the recovery position
  • Send or go for help - call the emergency services
  • Check for continued breathing

Is the victim breathing normally?

NO, breathing is absent

Neonate - recovery position - to help it breathing

Call the emergency services

Give 5 initial rescue breaths

Mouth to mouth ventilation in children

  • Open and maintain the airway open
  • Pinch the nose of the victim
  • Take a breath and cover the mouth of the patient with your mouth, then blow steadily for about 1- 1,5 sec., sufficient to make the chest rise
  • Watch for the chest to fall as air comes out

Assess circulation

  • Look for signs of life no more than 10 sec: any spontanous movement; cough; spontanous breathing
  • If signs of life are present, turn the victim into the recovery position
  • If signs of life are absent, proceed to chest compressions

Chest compressions in infants

  • Compresses the sternum with the tips of two fingers
  • Depress the lower sternum by at least one third the anterior–posterior dimension of the infant’s chest or by 4 cm

Chest compressions in children

  • Place the heel of one hand on the lower half of the sternum
  • Depress the sternum to at least one third of the anterior–posterior diameter of the chest or by 5 cm in children
  • Repeat at a rate of 100– 120/min


When to call for assistance?

  • When more than one rescuer is available, one starts resuscitation while another rescuer goes for assistance
  • If only one rescuer is present, undertake resuscitation for about 1 min or 5 cycles of CPR before going for assistance
  • If you are on your own, witness a child suddenly collapse and you suspect a primary cardiac arrest, call for help first and then start CPR

Severe airway obstruction in a conscious child

The treatment for children over 1 year will be the same as for adults

Severe airway obstruction in conscious neonate and infant

  • Put the newborn on your arm, with his face down and head lower than the rest of the body. Your second and third fingers will support the cheeks
  • With the heel of your free hand, apply 5 back blows

Treatment for severe airway obstruction of a conscious infant or neonate

  • 5 chest compressions, same as for ressucitation but shorter and more rare
  • Abdominal thrusts are not indicated in infant and newborn
  • Repeat the sequence back blows/chest compressions until the infant/neonate starts breathing

Treatment for severe airway obstruction of an unconscious child

  • If the above maneuvers failed: remove any visible foreign bodies from the mouth
  • 5 rescue breaths
  • 15 Compressions : 2 rescue breaths