How to Perform CPR on Infants, Children, and Adults

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique that can be used to revive someone who is not breathing or who has a heart attack. CPR involves compressing the chest and breathing into the victim's mouth. Health organizations recommend that everyone learn CPR, as it can be used to save the life of a loved one or even a stranger. That's why it is important to get your first aid certification. While it's important to have full training, here is a general guide on the process of performing CPR on infants, children, and adults.


Performing CPR on an infant is a relatively simple procedure, but it's important to do it correctly in order to be effective. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the following steps for performing CPR on a baby:

  1. Check for responsiveness. Shake them gently and call their name. If they do not respond, move on to step 2.

  2. Check for normal breathing. Look for chest movement and listen for breath sounds. If the infant is not breathing, move on to step 3.

  3. Perform chest compressions. Place them on their back on a firm surface and place two fingers on the center of their chest. Push down on the chest, keeping the compressions consistent and gentle. Count out loud to ensure you are providing compressions at the correct rate. The AHA recommends 100 compressions per minute.

  4. Open the airway. Tilt the head back and lift the chin up. If they are still not breathing, move on to step 5.

  5. Give two rescue breaths. Pinch the nose shut and give a gentle breath into the mouth. Watch for the chest to rise. If it does not rise, repeat the rescue breath. If the chest still does not rise, move on to step 6.

  6. Check for a pulse. Place your fingertips on the side of their neck and feel for a pulse. If you do not feel a pulse, continue with chest compressions. If you feel a pulse, check for a heartbeat by placing your hand over the baby's chest and feeling for movement. If you do not feel a heartbeat, begin chest compressions.

  7. Stop if they start to breathe on their own.

  8. Continue until they are breathing on their own, paramedics arrive, or you are too exhausted to continue.


Performing CPR on a child is comparable to performing it on an adult, but there are a few key differences. When performing it on a child, you should use only one hand to press down on the child's chest. You should also use a slightly different compression-breath ratio. For children aged 1 to 8, you should perform 30 chest compressions followed by two breaths. For children aged 9 to 12, you should perform 20 chest compressions followed by two breaths.

Once you have started, continue performing compressions and breaths until the child begins to breathe on their own, the ambulance arrives, or you are too exhausted to continue. If you are performing it on a child and an automated external defibrillator (AED) is available, use it as soon as possible.


When giving CPR to an adult, you should use both hands to perform chest compressions. The compressions should be deep and rhythmic. You should press down on the chest of the victim at a rate of 100 compressions per minute. After 30 compressions, give the victim one rescue breath. To give a rescue breath, place your mouth over the victim's mouth and nose and blow into their mouth until you see the chest rise. Then, release the air and allow the victim to exhale. Repeat the cycle of compressions and rescue breaths until the victim begins to breathe on their own or help arrives.

CPR is an important life-saving skill that everyone should know. However, it is important to only perform it if you feel comfortable and are trained. If done improperly, can cause more harm than good, so it is important to be properly trained before attempting to perform it on someone. If you are not comfortable performing it or are not properly trained, it is best to get help from someone who is or to call for help.