CPR - infant

  • Alternative Names

    Rescue breathing and chest compressions - infant; Resuscitation - cardiopulmonary - infant; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation - infant


    First Aid

    The following steps are based on instructions from the American Heart Association.

    1. Check for responsiveness. Shake or tap the infant gently. See if the infant moves or makes a noise. Shout, "Are you OK?"
    2. If there is no response, shout for help. Send someone to call 911. Do not leave the infant yourself to call 911 until you have performed CPR for about 2 minutes.
    3. Carefully place the infant on their back. If there is a chance the infant has a spinal injury, two people should move the infant to prevent the head and neck from twisting.
    4. Open the airway. Lift up the chin with one hand. At the same time, tilt the head by pushing down on the forehead with the other hand.
    5. Look, listen, and feel for breathing. Place your ear close to the infant's mouth and nose. Watch for chest movement. Feel for breath on your cheek.
    6. If the infant is not breathing:
      • Cover the infant's mouth and nose tightly with your mouth.
      • Alternatively, cover just the nose. Hold the mouth shut.
      • Keep the chin lifted and head tilted.
      • Give 2 rescue breaths. Each breath should take about a second and make the chest rise.
    7. Perform chest compressions:
      • Place 2 fingers on the breastbone -- just below the nipples. Make sure not to press at the very end of the breastbone.
      • Keep your other hand on the infant's forehead, keeping the head tilted back.
      • Press down on the infant's chest so that it compresses about 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the chest.
      • Give 30 chest compressions. Each time, let the chest rise completely. These compressions should be FAST and hard with no pausing. Count the 30 compressions quickly: "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30, off."
    8. Give the infant 2 more breaths. The chest should rise.
    9. Continue CPR (30 chest compressions followed by 2 breaths, then repeat) for about 2 minutes.
    10. After about 2 minutes of CPR, if the infant still does not have normal breathing, coughing, or any movement, leave the infant if you are alone and call 911.
    11. Repeat rescue breathing and chest compressions until the infant recovers or help arrives.

    If the infant starts breathing again, place him or her in the recovery position. Periodically re-check for breathing until help arrives.


    Do Not
    • Lift the infant's chin while tilting the head back to move the tongue away from the windpipe. If a spinal injury is suspected, pull the jaw forward without moving the head or neck. Don't let the mouth close.
    • If the infant has signs of normal breathing, coughing, or movement, DO NOT begin chest compressions. Doing so may cause the heart to stop beating.
    • Unless you are a health professional, DO NOT check for a pulse. Only a health care professional is properly trained to check for a pulse.

    Call immediately for emergency medical assistance if
    • If you have help, tell one person to call 911 while another person begins CPR.
    • If you are alone, shout loudly for help and begin CPR. After doing CPR for about 2 minutes, if no help has arrived, call 911. You may carry the infant with you to the nearest phone (unless you suspect spinal injury).