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BLS for Children (Age One to Puberty)

Please purchase the course before starting the lesson.

BLS for both children and infants is almost identical. For example, if two rescuers are available to perform CPR, the compression to breath ratio is 15:2 for both children and infants. Study the succeeding pages and Table 2 for the differences between BLS for children and infants.

One-Rescuer BLS for Children

If you find yourself alone with a child in need of rescue, follow these steps:

  1. Engage with the child by tapping their shoulder or talking to assess responsiveness
  2. If the child does not respond and is not breathing (or is only gasping for breath), yell for help. If someone responds, send the second person to call 911 and to get an AED.
  3. Assess if they are breathing while feeling for the child’s carotid pulse (on the side of the neck) or femoral pulse (on the inner thigh in the crease between their leg and groin) for no more than 10 seconds.
  4. If you cannot feel a pulse (or if you are unsure), begin CPR by doing 15 compressions followed by two breaths. If you can feel a pulse but the pulse rate is less than 60 beats per minute, you should begin CPR. This rate is too slow for a child.
  5. After doing CPR for about two minutes (usually about ten cycles of 15 compressions and two breaths) and if help has not arrived, call EMS while staying with the child. The ILCOR emphasizes that cell phones are available everywhere now and most have a built-in speakerphone. Get an AED if you know where one is located.
  6. Use and follow AED prompts when available while continuing CPR until EMS arrives or until the child’s condition normalizes.

Two-Rescuer BLS for Children

If you have someone with you at the emergency site, proceed with the following:

  1. Engage with the child by tapping their shoulder or talking to assess responsiveness
  2. If the child does not respond and is not breathing (or is only gasping for breath), send the second rescuer to call 911 and get an AED.
  3. Assess if they are breathing while feeling for the child’s carotid pulse (on the side of the neck) or femoral pulse (on the inner thigh in the crease between their leg and groin) for no more than 10 seconds.
  4. If you cannot feel a pulse (or if you are unsure), begin CPR by doing 15 compressions followed by two breaths. If you can feel a pulse but the rate is less than 60 beats per minute, begin CPR. This rate is too slow for a child.
  5. When the second rescuer returns, begin CPR by performing 15 compressions by one rescuer and two breaths by the second rescuer.
  6. Use and follow AED prompts when available while continuing CPR until EMS arrives or until the child’s condition normalizes.
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