Infant and child CPR classes

Infant and child CPR classes

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It's best to take a CPR course from a certified instructor, who will teach you hands-on techniques for handling a life-threatening emergency. Contact the American Red Cross for classes near you, or order a training kit or books, or take an online class if you're unable to attend in person.

What's the best way to learn infant and child CPR?

The best way to learn how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is to take a class taught by a certified instructor. Hospitals, community centers, and local chapters of the American Red Cross and American Heart Association offer CPR classes.

Instructors use a child-size mannequin to demonstrate how to perform every aspect of the technique, from how far back to tilt the head to how hard to strike a child's back if he's choking.

It's better to attend a class in person than to try learning from a book or website (although it's useful to have those materials available to refresh your memory). Practicing each step of CPR with an experienced instructor helps you learn proper technique and remember what you've learned, so you'll feel prepared in the event of an emergency.

To find a class in your area, visit the Red Cross website or call (800) RED-CROSS or (800) 733-2767.

What happens during a CPR class?

In a CPR class, you'll learn:

  • Techniques for handling a life-threatening emergency – if a child is choking or isn't moving or breathing because of a fall or a near drowning, for example. The techniques are different for babies and older children, so it's important to learn both.
  • Accident prevention and childproofing measures.

In a pediatric first aid/CPR/AED course, participants learn how to:

  • Prevent, recognize and respond to cardiac and breathing emergencies
  • Use an automatic external defibrillator (AED)
  • Treat wounds and burns
  • Care for sudden illnesses in infants and children under age 12.

Courses (for either CPR or First Aid/CPR/AED) usually last from two to five hours total.

What if I can't go to a class?

For those who can't attend a CPR course, the American Heart Association offers an Adult & Child CPR Anytime Training Kit. It contains a small inflatable mannequin, a DVD, and a booklet of CPR instructions that can be used individually or to teach your family or a group. (Learning the technique with the kit won't certify you in CPR, however.)

The Red Cross offers:

  • An online Adult, Child and Baby First Aid/CPR/AED course. The course features simulation in a virtual setting and takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete.
  • An online store of books and DVDs on emergency preparedness. You can find resources on how to prevent, recognize, and treat cardiac, breathing, and first aid emergencies, what emergency supplies to keep on hand, and how to develop a disaster plan.
  • A free first aid app that you can download from the American Red Cross website, the app store on your device, or by texting "GETFIRST" to 90999. The app covers common first aid emergencies and includes videos, interactive quizzes, and step-by-step instructions.

More resources

While a good course is the ideal way to learn CPR, it can also help to read up on techniques. See our illustrated guides to first aid for choking and CPR for babies and children 12 months or older.

Learn more:

  • First-aid checklist
  • Childproofing around the house
  • Choking hazards for children
  • Water safety

Watch the video: CPR - Infant (May 2022).