Want to learn how to save a life?

Infant CPR: How to Treat a Choking Infant with CPR

Knowing how to administer infant CPR to a choking baby is a critical, lifesaving skill. 

What is CPR? Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a first aid technique that can save someone’s life if they stop breathing or their heart stops beating.

Children and infants are naturally curious and frequently place objects in their mouths. One small object can block a baby’s airway, restricting their air intake and oxygen flow.

Thankfully, there’s a series of first aid techniques specifically designed to help a choking victim in infancy. According to the Mayo Clinic, performing CPR for infants is suitable for babies aged four weeks or older.

The U.S. Department of Health advises against performing CPR on an infant who is choking but coughing or crying very hard. This may clear the airways. But if a choking baby is unresponsive, not breathing, or merely gasping, the American Red Cross suggests proceeding with CPR.

Infant Choking CPR Steps

According to the U.S. Department of Health, there are a few main phases to treating a choking infant:

  • Conduct back blows and chest thrusts to help remove the stuck object and open the airway. 
  • Perform chest compressions and rescue breathing to help restore blood circulation.

Contact 9-1-1 

Whenever possible, quickly instruct someone else to call 9-1-1 before you begin to administer first aid. 

If you’re alone with the baby, the American Red Cross recommends calling 9-1-1 yourself after you’ve provided about 2 minutes of infant CPR.

An adult practices infant CPR on a test dummy

Provide Back Blows 

Using your lap and forearm as a foundation, hold the infant face-down. Support their jaw and chest with your hand. Tilt their head lower than their chest.

Then, strike the area in between the shoulder blades with the palm of your opposite hand. Do this quickly and with force up to five times. 

Perform Chest Thrusts

Flip the infant face-up, supporting their head with one hand. 

Place two fingers from your other hand at the center of the chest, slightly below the baby’s nipple line. Then, press down quickly to compress the chest down by up to half of its normal depth. Do this up to five times.

Carry on with five back blows followed by five chest thrusts until the object comes out. 

Conduct Infant CPR

If the object is still stuck and the infant becomes unconscious, proceed with infant CPR.

Keep your two fingers at the center of the chest, and press down by about 1.5 inches, about 100-120 times per minute.

After repeating 30 compressions, gently tilt the infant’s head to open the airway. Breathe into their mouth for one second at a time. Continue with 30 chest compressions and two breaths until you see signs of life, or emergency responders arrive.

Get Infant CPR Certified

It takes a village to raise a child. Everyone from parents to nurses and emergency medical technicians can help save a baby’s life if they’re prepared with infant CPR skills.
Sign up for online classes through the American AED/CPR Association and get CPR certified today.

Leave a Reply